New Delhi: Just a day ahead of the second round of India-Pakistan official talks to decide on the modalities of the Kartarpur Corridor, Islamabad has removed a prominent Khalistani separatist Gopal Singh Chawla from the country's top Sikh body.
According to reports, Chawla has been removed from the Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Prabandak Committee (PSGPC) ahead of the crucial talks between the two sides.
India had raised serious objections to the presence of Gopal Singh Chawla, a known Khalistani and a close aide of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, and had postponed the second round of Kartarpur talks which were earlier scheduled for April 2, 2019.
PSGPC oversees all the gurudwaras in Pakistan, including the Kartarpur Gurudwara and the corridor. The notification regarding PSGPC members was issued by the Pakistan government late on Friday.
The new notification includes four members from Pakistan's Punjab province, three from northern Kyber Pakhtunkhwa, two from Sindh and one from Balochistan.
On various occasions in past, India has raised its concerns on Khalistani propaganda at Sikh Shrines in Pakistan and, this time, the issue is expected to come up again during the second round of Kartarpur talks.
The Kartarpur talks, which will be held at the Wagah Border on Sunday, will see New Delhi taking up a number of issues with Pakistan which includes the number of visitors that can be allowed, infrastructure, safety and security of pilgrims.
The meeting is scheduled to begin around 9 AM and is expected to conclude around 1 PM with both sides holding separate press conferences after the talks.
The Indian delegation will be led by SCL Das, Joint Secretary (Internal Security) in MHA and Joint Secretary (PAI-Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran) MEA, Deepak Mittal while Pakistani side will be represented by Director-General South Asia and SAARC Dr Mohammad Faisal.