April 25, 2022
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Sunday categorically rejected the “malicious Indian propaganda” accusing Islamabad of using the Kartarpur Corridor for business meetings, saying “it is a deliberate smear campaign seeking to undermine Pakistan’s historic initiative of opening the corridor for Sikh pilgrims from India and around the world”.
The response from the Foreign Office comes in the wake of reports carried by certain sections of the Indian media claiming Pakistan’s officials were “using the Kartarpur corridor to meet and cultivate contacts among Indians going on the pilgrimage”.
Pakistan dismissed the allegations as baseless and concocted.
“There is nothing new about India’s desperate bid to malign the Corridor of Peace and divert the world’s attention away from the grave injustices being done to its own minorities, especially Muslims,” the FO said in a statement.
It said Muslims in India were being targeted with impunity by Hindu zealots in utter disregard of all tenets of law and justice.
“Pakistan accords the highest primacy to the rights of the minorities. Sanctity of religious places and revered sites of every community is ensured in Pakistan.”
The FO recalled that Pakistan recently hosted over 2000 Sikh pilgrims from India alone who were in the country to participate in the annual Baisakhi festival held from 12-21 April 2022.
It explained that elaborate arrangements were put in place to facilitate the visiting pilgrims to pay homage at their holy religious sites.
“The Sikh community around the world has remained appreciative of Pakistan’s commitment to inclusivity, diversity and promotion of religious harmony.”
Pakistan asked India to desist from casting “fallacious aspersions on the Kartarpur Corridor which was a gift by the Government of Pakistan to the Sikh community”, and called upon the neighbouring country to focus on taking meaningful steps to effectively protect its own religious minorities and ensure the safety of their lives and places of worship.