FO slams Indian propaganda over Kartarpur corridor

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ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) on Saturday brushed off the “relentless propaganda campaign” against the Kartarpur Corridor for visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims from India being waged by a section of the Indian media against Pakistan.

Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan performed the historic groundbreaking of the Kartarpur Corridor connecting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal’s Kartarpur area to Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur district.

Soon after the ceremony, the Indian media had skewered the event and the speeches delivered at the occasion, much to Pakistan’s “dismay”.

Foreign Office Spokesman Mohammad Faisal reaffirmed that Pakistan would not only “make every possible contribution to a befitting celebration of the auspicious occasion of Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary in 2019” but also stand steadfast in the face of biased criticism, which he said, was purely malicious on the Indian media’s part.

“The initiative to open this Corridor has been taken by the Government of Pakistan solely in deference to the longstanding wishes of our Sikh brethren, and especially in the wake of the forthcoming 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev,” said a statement released by the FO while adding that “we have received an overwhelmingly positive response from the Sikh community — not only in India and Pakistan but also from across the globe”.

“We are convinced that those seeking to sow negativity around this initiative for partisan purposes or due to their known anti-Pakistan proclivities will not succeed in their designs. The Government of Pakistan will continue to do what is right for advancing this noble initiative. We also look forward to working out necessary details and modalities with the Indian side concerning the passage through the Corridor,” the FO statement added.

Reiterating its resolve for peace, the FO termed the historical event as “another moment of hope for the peoples of India and Pakistan”.

“We hope every effort would be made to preserve and take forward the Kartarpur spirit,” the FO’s statement said in conclusion.

Pakistan will soon proceed with the development activities related to the physical infrastructure on its side of the newly opened corridor.