Following India’s objection, Pakistan has removed pro-Khalistani leader Gopal Singh Chawla from a panel linked to the Kartarpur Corridor, ahead of Sunday’s meeting between officials of the two sides on the cross-border corridor.
The Pakistan government announced a new 10-member Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) on Friday, minus Chawla, following objections from India.
Chawla was the general secretary of the PSGPC.
However, the PSGPC has included another known pro-Khalistani leader, Ameer Singh, in the panel. Ameer Singh is said to be the brother of known Khalistani leader Bishen Singh. Ameer is also said to be among the frontline leaders of the Khalistani movement in Pakistan, according to the Political Edge.
The second round of talks, to be held at Wagah on the Pakistani side was originally scheduled for April 2, but India raised objections to the presence of Chawla in the PSGPC panel.
India shared concerns and sought clarifications on reports that “controversial elements” have been appointed by Pakistan to a committee to be associated with the Kartarpur corridor.
India has made it clear that the Kartarpur Corridor should not be used for anti-India activities including secessionist acts or propaganda. India wants pilgrims to travel safe and in a secure manner.
The July 14 meeting is being held to discuss the draft agreement for finalising the modalities of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor.
Despite tensions in bilateral ties, both India and Pakistan have expressed their commitment to expedite the progress on the corridor to ensure that it was operationalised in time for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak in November.