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On Kartarpur, Amarinder sceptical of Pakistan intention (Lead)

Saturday - March 16, 2019 7:32 pm , Category : INDIA
Chandigarh, March 16 (IANS) Raising serious doubts about Pakistan's intention behind opening the Kartarpur Corridor, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday said that he did not trust Pakistan's agenda as it "is nefarious and political, and aimed at exploiting the sentiments of the Sikhs".
Underlining the need to keep a close watch on the Corridor project, the Chief Minister said while he is in favour of the opening of Corridor, which is a matter of devotion for the Sikhs, there is need to exercise caution.
"Pakistan is doing it with a different intent, which is not at all aimed at promoting peace," Amarinder, whose government in Punjab completed two years in office on Saturday, said.
"India's agenda is religious but theirs is totally disruptive," said the Chief Minister, citing the pro-Khalistan 'Referendum 2020' as an example of ISI's (Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence) attempts to exploite Sikh sentiments to divide and destabilize Punjab.
"While Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan talks of peace, their Army Chief General (Qamar Javed) Bajwa continues to promote his evil designs," Amarinder warned, adding that the number of ISI-backed terror modules busted in Punjab in recent months indicated their true intention.
The grenades used in Jalandhar and Pathankot attacks were of Pakistan origin, he added. The Chief Minister said the number of devotees proposed by Islamabad to be allowed to pass the Corridor was not at all sufficient and he wanted at least 15,000 pilgrims to be permitted to visit the historic gurdwara through the Corridor every day.
He reiterated his demand for 'khule darshan' at the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara, questioning the rationale behind having a Corridor at all if the need for passport and visa was still there.
"Some identification was, of course, needed, but there was no need for passport...such requirement would deprive poor people of darshan," he said.

--IANS js/prs

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