Chandigarh: Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday expressed concern over Pakistan's decision to downgrade diplomatic ties with India, and hoped the move would not adversely impact the progress made on the Kartarpur Corridor front.
Reacting to reports of Pakistan's decision to expel the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad and to review bilateral agreements with New Delhi, the chief minister described Islamabad's reaction as "knee-jerk and uncalled for," a statement from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said. "Kashmir was an internal matter for India, which was in its rights to take any decision with regard to the region. Islamabad should not have used this as an excuse to undermine its diplomatic relations with India," the statement quoted him as saying. "Pakistan's decision was not in the interest of regional security," he said, warning that any such move to destabilise the "fragile peace of the South-East Asian region" would make the neighbouring country itself vulnerable.
The chief minister expressed hope that these developments would not affect the Kartarpur Corridor and Pakistan would not hurt Sikh sentiments by putting the much-awaited corridor on hold. "Political considerations should not be allowed to overshadow the religious feelings of the Sikhs, for whom Kartapur Gurdwara stands out as a symbol of reverence," the chief minister said.
As per the statement, Singh also urged the government to take up the matter with Islamabad on priority and ensure that the development of the Kartarpur Corridor remains on track, notwithstanding the diplomatic and other developments between the two nations in the wake of the revocation of Article 370 in Kashmir. "Both countries could take adequate steps to ensure that the Corridor's progress and security is not jeopardized in the light of Pakistan's decision to scale down diplomatic relations and suspend trade ties with India," the chief minister said.
Stressing that Kartarpur had nothing to do with Kashmir or any other issue of concern for the two countries, he said, "The 550th Prakash Purb was a momentous event with enormous importance for the people of India, especially the Sikhs."
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Updated Date: Aug 08, 2019 10:21:47 IST