BARELY 48 hours before the first batch of Sikh pilgrims, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, takes the corridor to Kartarpur Sahib across the border, conflicting statements emerged from Pakistan’s government and Army over a key requirement for Indians — a passport. Hours after Pakistan’s Army overruled an offer made by Prime Minister Imran Khan that passports would not be required for Sikh devotees from India, its Foreign Office underscored the PM’s decision. ExplainedPak doublespeak angers DelhiCONFLICTING STATEMENTS from Pakistan on passports for Sikh pilgrims from India expose the faultlines between its government and Army. While Delhi views the Kartarpur project as a pilgrimage corridor, it has been suspicious of Islamabad’s intent and feels that the mask has slipped across the border with the Pakistan Army contradicting Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer — and photos and videos in Pakistan’s publicity material showing pro-Khalistan elements. Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal tweeted, “As a special gesture, #Pakistan announced concessions on the auspicious occasion of 550th Birth Anniversary of #BabaGuruNanak to facilitate pilgrims.” Faisal went on to claim that India had refused “these facilitative measures”. New Delhi, however, pointed to the “conflicting reports” from Pakistan and said they will go by the… Read full this story
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