Sunday, July 05, 2020


Conspiracy, vested interests behind low footfall at Kartarpur Corridor

November 14, 2019 11:41 AM

CHANDIGARH:An obnoxious effort is currently underway to negate and nullify the very concept, purpose and viability of the Kartarpur Corridor, with entrenched elements in the Government of India, deliberately sabotaging the venture and doing everything to suppress the footfall of Sikh Sangat, senior Punjab politician and former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly, Bir Devinder Singh, said today.

In a statement issued here, Bir Devinder Singh, currently the Senior Vice President of SAD (Taksali), said while Prime Minister Narendra Modi facilitated the corridor and thanked his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan for responding to the sentiments of the Guru Nanak Naamleva, certain powers in India's Deep Establishment are throwing a spanner in the works.

"Through which empirical survey has the Government of India determined that an average Guru Nanak Naamleva is equipped with a passport? When Pakistan is not imposing the condition of passport, then why is New Delhi insisting on sticking to the terms of the MoU signed earlier?, " Bir Devinder Singh said, adding that the MoU predated the announcement made by Prime Minister Imran Khan about scrapping the condition of passport.

"In fact, India is losing out on an opportunity to call the bluff of Pakistan. We should have allowed the pilgrims to go to Pakistan on the basis of any valid ID, like the Aadhar card, as PM Khan had said, and if Pakistan had refused to accept them, we should have gone to town to expose the chinks between Imran Khan's executive and the military there, " he said.

The former Deputy Speaker said the Sikh community and Punjabis at large would have grave doubts about the intentions behind the insistence on cumbersome procedural restrictions for the pilgrims opting to travel via Kartarpur Corridor.

On the one hand, the world can see an outpouring of overwhelming religious exuberance of the Sikh community and on the other hand, it can also watch the meagre numbers trudging through the Corridor. "Clearly, there is a disconnect, and that disconnect is not because Sikhs and Punjabis at large are not enthusiastic to go for Darshan of the last abode of the Guru Nanak Dev Ji, but because certain powers are creating obstacles, " Bir Devinder Singh said.

He said it was surprising that neither Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, nor his friend and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal and his wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal seemed much bothered about the state of affairs regarding the corridor.

"The Kartarpur Corridor is more than a photo-op, and now that politicians have had their faces splashed on television channels, who will take the responsibility of ensuring that the world sees the success of this corridor that denotes peace in the trouble-torn region of South Asia?" he asked.

Bir Devinder Singh urged CM Amarinder Singh to use his deep connections in the Delhi Durbar, who arrange for visa for his close Pakistani friend without fail every time, irrespective of the state of India-Pakistan tensions, to do away with undue procedural obstacles and facilitate pilgrimage along the corridor.

"It is strange that the man who cried hoarse all the time about opening the border is now silent after merely ensuring that a particular Pakistani citizen can criss-cross the Radcliff Line any time she wanted, " he added.

Bir Devinder Singh wondered if it was the inherent malevolence found among certain elements in India's Deep State that was responsible for efforts to sabotage the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor after they failed to prevent it from happening. "The hidden agenda of these elements seems to be to disdainfully dissuade Pakistan not to replicate any similar venture since Sikhs are demanding free access to all the Historical Gurdwaras left in Pakistan after the partition of the country in 1947, " he said.

Bir Devinder Singh came down heavily on Capt. Amarinder Singh's repeated references to the ISI being behind the corridor's opening and called it a "conspicuously ridiculous harangue."

This was nothing but an effort to pre-empt the opening of the corridor and was defeated by the sheer enthusiasm of the Sikh Sangat, he said, adding that Captain Amarinder Singh was acting as an "agent provocateur" of Mr. Ajit Doval, the National Security Advisor, and did not shy away from statements that just blotched the sublime glory of the inaugural function of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on the 9th of November, 2019 at Dera Baba Nanak.

"I wish he had not exhibited the repugnant sickness of his mind. What kind of a leader could be so completely oblivious to the grace of the solemn occasion?" Bir Devinder Singh asked.

Calling all talk about security related worries in the context of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor as humbug, Bir Devinder Singh said there was much potential in the positive interfaith dialogue between Sikhism and Islam and this could have massive geo-political impact on the Kashmir narrative.

"Now, this is something from which India can gain, if the powers that be wanted to utilise the potential of such a dialogue. On the other hand, they could feel threatened by it if their designs were nefarious, " he said.

The seminal contours of the interfaith understanding and commonalities along the broader spectrum of faith were well understood by historians, geo-political experts and theologians, he added.

"I urge the Government of India to immediately remove all unnecessary bottlenecks and allow unhindered flow of Sikh devotees to Kartarpur Sahib, " he said.

Bir Devinder Singh said India should, if required, further rework the bilateral agreement with Pakistan to do away with the need for a passport as Pakistan Prime Minister Mr.  Imran Khan has already consented for it.

"Why should families spend so much money on getting passports made, when all they have to do is to walk through a corridor for which their passports are not even to be inked?" he wondered.


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