Islamabad, December 21: Prime Minister Imran Khan-led Pakistan government has turned down India’s demand for a land swap between the two countries to make Kartarpur a part of India.
Reacting to a media question, whether Pakistan would consider India’s request for a land swap, foreign office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said in Islamabad on Thursday, “It’s a gesture for Sikh minority community made on their request to provide a visa-free corridor to facilitate visit to a religious shrine. The decision to open the Kartarpur corridor was taken at the state-to-state level and the Indian government was fully involved in it.” Kartarpur Sahib Corridor: American Sikh Community Thank Narendra Modi for Laying the Foundation Stone.
Earlier on December 14, the Punjab assembly unanimously passed a resolution on the India-Pak land swap deal on Kartarpur, which is considered as the final resting place of Guru Nanak located in Narowal district of Pakistan.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh-led government in India decided to take up the proposal with the Union government, in which they were offering over 10,000 acres in the Dera Baba Nanak area in exchange for the land Pakistan, where historical gurdwara stands – barely three kilometres from the India-Pakistan border.
Seeking similar demand, Congress Rajya Sabha member Partap Singh Bajwa too had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September. The parliamentarian cited the example of 1962 land swap with Pakistan, when a piece of land at Hussainiwala was exchanged – the cremation site of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru are located. Bajwa had opined that the exchange of land would negate national security concerns that may arise from the corridor.