Guterres hails Kartarpur move

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THE UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday visited Gurdwara Darabar Sahib in Punjab’s Narowal district and hailed the opening of Kartarpur Corridor for Sikh community saying “it is a practical example of Pakistan’s desire for peace and inter-faith harmony”. UN chief also visited various sections of Kartarpur Complex and expressed satisfaction over the facilities being provided to the Sikh pilgrims. “Opening of Corridor is a good step and it will promote tolerance and interfaith harmony,” he added.
Opening of Kartarpur Corridor was one of the many moves that Pakistan has taken as part of its consistent strategy to promote regional peace especially through reduction of tension with India. Prime Minister Imran Khan, soon after assumption of power, gave a message of peace to India and even during the height of tension between the two countries following bombing of Pakistani territory by India, he ordered release of captured Indian pilot. Pakistan has also been striving hard to promote people-to-people contacts through initiatives like rail and bus linkages and engage India in a cooperative framework. Its keenness to include New Delhi in regional connectivity projects like Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and TAPI was clear manifestation of its desire of building bridges of confidence through inter-dependence. However, India has not been responding to peace and cooperative overtures of Pakistan with the same zeal and in fact, it always spurned such moves in pursuance of its aggressive agenda aimed at establishing regional dominance. It responded to all peace gestures and offer of cooperation with hurling of naked threats and even scuttled moves for holding of SAARC summit in Pakistan. As against this, speaking at the opening ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor, Prime Minister Imran Khan had emphasized the need for economic ties between India and Pakistan, and also reiterated the need for both countries to jointly fight the scourge of poverty. The very fact that Pakistan signed an agreement with India to operationalize the Corridor at a time when New Delhi had raised the ante by illegally annexing the Occupied Kashmir is proof of Pakistan’s desire to have peace with India but even India has been finding fault with this move as well. However, remarks of the UN Secretary-General send a clear message that the world community was fully aware of who is doing what.

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