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  India   All India  07 May 2019  India demarche to Pak on ‘Khalistani’ leader in panel

India demarche to Pak on ‘Khalistani’ leader in panel

THE ASIAN AGE. | VINEETA PANDEY
Published : May 7, 2019, 3:20 am IST
Updated : May 7, 2019, 12:12 pm IST

The ETPB also deals with Hindu and Sikh pilgrims travelling to these shrines.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed (Photo: AP/File)
 Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed (Photo: AP/File)

New Delhi: Irked by the appointment of pro-Khalistan leader Gopal Chawla as a non-official member of Pakistan’s Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), India on April 26 gave a verbal demarche to Pakistan through diplomatic channels both in New Delhi and Islamabad protesting the appointment.

During the verbal demarche, India mentioned Chawla’s links with Lashkar-e-Tayyaba chief Hafiz Saeed and his anti-India, Khalistan related activities and indicated that his presence in such committees will have a bearing on talks on Kartarpur Corridor in future. The talks are already on hold due to Chawla’s presence in the ten-member committee formed by Pakistan on March 27 to oversee Kartarpur Corridor plans.

In its April 26 verbal demarche, the Indian government underlined that it had earlier too objected to the inclusion of ‘controversial elements’ like Chawla in the committee on Kartarpur Corridor and his presence there has impacted the talks.

“I think there were very strong reasons for the postponement (of Kartarpur talks). Now we had sought clarification from Pakistan on some of the proposals which he had forwarded in the last meeting but the main concern was on the reports that controversial elements have been appointed by Pakistan in the committee to be associated with the Kartarpur Corridor and we did intimate to them that we can discuss on the modalities of the next meeting after we get a response from Pakistan on some of these queries we have. We are still waiting for response from Pakistan,” ministry of external affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said during a media briefing last week.

However, while responding to verbal demarche, Pakistan told MEA that Chawla’s appointment to ETPB was its internal matter. Chawla was appointed as a non-official member of ETPB on April 19. The ETPB with Chawla on board held its last meeting on May 2, 2019. It is learnt that Chawla’s appointment was done at a time when several Khalistan related separatists were travelling to Pakistan last month.

ETPB, with its headquarters in Lahore, controls all Evacuee Trust Properties and Land left over by the Sikh/Hindus who migrated to India during partition in 1947-48. This includes controlling all Temples and Gurdwaras including Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur. Gurdwara Sacha Sauda, Farooqabad; Gurdwara Panja Sahib, Hassanabadal among others.

Gurdwara Dera Sahib, Lahore; Gurdwara Rohri Sahib, Eminabad, Gujranwala and Gurdwara Bhai Joga Singh, Peshawar are some other Gurdwaras under ETPB.

The major temples under it are Sadhu Bela, Sukkur; Katas Raj, Chakwal; Krishna Mandir, Lahore Krishna Mandi, Rawalpindi; Shadani Darbar, Hiyat Pittafi, Mirpur Mathlo; Shiv Mandir, Mansehra Kali Beri Mandir, Peshawar; Guru Gurpat nanak Mandir, Hyderabad; Jhulay Lal mandir, Karachi; Sant Bhaghat Ram Mandir, Dadu.

The ETPB also deals with Hindu and Sikh pilgrims travelling to these shrines.

Tags: hafiz saeed, etpb