Pakistan calls out ‘malicious’ Indian media reports to undermine Kartarpur project

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The Foreign Office (FO) on Monday issued a statement categorically rejecting Indian media reports attributed to “intelligence sources”, saying they deserve nothing but contempt.

It may be mentioned here that the reports in question implied the presence of alleged militant training camps in Narowal near Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib.

“Pakistan’s Kartarpur spirit is aimed at facilitating Nanak Naamlevas, especially Sikhs, to visit one of their most revered places of worship and promoting inter-faith harmony. The content of the media reports in question is part of a malicious propaganda campaign in India that cannot be condemned enough,” a press release from the FO stated.

The FO statement also addressed allegations about Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib being used for any purpose other than worship, saying that they are a deliberate attempt to misrepresent Pakistan’s goodwill gesture, undermine the corridor initiative, and hurt the religious sentiments of Sikhs all over the world.

“We have no doubt that such mischievous attempts will be rejected with the contempt that they deserve,” the statement emphasised.

Ready to be inaugurated on November 9 by Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan, the Kartarpur Corridor would make Pakistan a religious hub for Sikhs from India as well as across the globe. Former Indian cricket star and lawmaker Navjot Singh Sidhu has also been invited for the ceremony.

According to reports, India has shared with Pakistan a list of 575 people who will be part of the first Sikh delegation to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib after passing through the newly constructed corridor.

Pakistan and India signed an agreement last month, paving the way for the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor this month after a tricky negotiation process.

The corridor will provide visa free access to Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, the final resting place of Baba Guru Nanak.

According to Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), the first phase of the corridor comprised the construction of the main corridor up to zero point, main offices at zero point, basic polishing of existing building of the gurdwara, baradari, langar hall, angetha sahib, sarowar, administrative block and parking area. The second phase would include accommodation for about 10,000 yatrees, shopping malls, and five and seven star hotels.

The corridor’s inauguration would make it the world’s largest Gurdwara to pay respects to the founder of Sikh faith.