Sidhu to attend Kartarpur Corridor inauguration: FO

World leaders urged to take notice of human rights violation in IoK

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Sohail Majeed Butt

ISLAMABAD

Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal has said that more than 10,000 Sikhs from India and other countries are expected to attend inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor to be performed by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday (November 9).

At his weekly news briefing here on Thursday, Foreign Office Spokesperson said that under the 1974 agreement with New Delhi regarding religious pilgrims, about five thousand pilgrims will come from India whereas our missions abroad have issued the same number of visas.

He said the pilgrims from different countries including Canada, Britain, America, Singapore, Malaysia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, New Zealand and Australia will attend the inauguration ceremony.

The spokesperson said Kartarpur is a dedicated corridor for the people from India to come, pay respect and go back the same day, as they cannot go anywhere else.

Dr. Muhammad Faisal said that as a special gesture on the auspicious occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, Pakistan has waived the pilgrims from carrying passport for the 550th celebrations, the requirement to convey pilgrim information ten days prior to the entry through Kartarpur Corridor and the twenty dollar service charges per pilgrim per visit on the 9th and 12th November. He said this has been conveyed formally to the Indian High Commission and the Indian government.

He said we hope that the corridor will provide an opportunity especially to the Sikh community to come and observe the prayers at Baba Guru Nanak Sahib’s shrine.

Responding to a question, the spokesperson said the opening of the Kartarpur corridor was the sole initiative of Prime Minister Imran Khan which was then followed by the Indian side.

The spokesperson regretted the Indian posture of not reciprocating to Pakistan’s peace overtures for resolution of all outstanding disputes including those relating to Kashmir, water, Sir Creek and Siachen.

The foreign office spokesperson maintained the government has conveyed the message to Indian High Commission.

He said that former Indian cricketer Navjot Sidhu will attend inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor and a visa will be issued to him.

Regarding Kashmir issue, he said that the crisis in Indian Occupied Kashmir is worsening day by day and the continuous lockdown has made lives of innocent Kashmiris miserable.

The foreign office official urged the world leaders to take notice of blatant violation of human rights in held valley and press India to resolve the issue in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.

Dr Muhammad Faisal said humanitarian nightmare in occupied Kashmir is worsening with continuous military lockdown and communications blockade by India.  He said eight million Kashmiri people have been cut off from the rest of the world.

When asked about the harassment of Pakistani diplomats in Afghanistan, the spokesperson urged the Afghan government to fulfill its responsibility regarding protection of the members of Pakistani mission. He said that the embassy of Pakistan in Kabul will be processing visa applications for medical emergency during the closure of consulate service there.

When asked to comment on Yemen peace agreement brokered by Saudi Arabia, the spokesperson expressed the confidence that this will lead to reduction of tension in the region.

To a question, Dr Muhammad Faisal said dates for the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are being worked out. He said the visit will soon take place.

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