Khalistani terrorist Gopal Chawla seen with Qamar Bajwa days before Kartarpur inauguration

AMRITSAR: Pakistan government's claims on not allowing anti-India elements to operate from its soil were exposed on Sunday when Pakistan's pro-Khalistan face, Gopal Singh Chawla, was given free access to meet Indian pilgrims at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartapur Sahib complex on Sunday during the celebrations organised by Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh.

According to sources, Pakistan's Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), which - as per intelligence sources - is under the direct command of ISI, allowed Chawla to lead the functions, address the gathering and meet Indian pilgrims.

"Chawla has close ties with terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed and many other militants for his anti-India rantings, so he is indispensable for ISI that uses him as an anti-India Sikh face of Pakistan, and he has been accordingly awarded with various benefits," a source said.

India had strongly objected to Chawla's inclusion in the 10-member PSGPC announced on March 27, 2019, by Pakistan's former federal minister for information and broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain.

However, buckling under Indian pressure Pakistan government dissolved the committee and removed Chawla from PSGPC, but later "promoted" him by including him as a non-official member of ETPB on April 19, prompting India to give a verbal demarche to Pakistan through diplomatic channels. This led to Pakistan government issuing a statement that the membership of Chawla had been de-notified.

According to sources, Chawla delivered a venomous speech against India during the function.

Chawla was also present at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib on Saturday during the visit of Islamic scholars and religious leaders, aimed at restoring the confidence among Pakistan Sikhs following the frenzied protest and stoning of the gurdwara.

Meanwhile, ETPB spokesperson Amir Hashmi said a religious procession was taken out in the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara complex, which was attended by Indian pilgrims.