Sidhu hails decision on Kartarpur corridor

Updated - November 23, 2018 01:13 am IST

Published - November 23, 2018 01:11 am IST - CHANDIGARH

Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Punjab minister Navjot SIngh Sidhu on Thursday welcomed the Centre’s approval for setting up 'Kartarpur corridor' while the Congress party's Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa raised reservation on the decision.

Union Cabinet Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal wasted no time to take credit for her party ''persistent requests'' behind the decision.

Mr. Sidhu, who had been forcefully taking up the issue of opening the corridor, since his recent visit to Pakistan welcomed the decision and expressed hope that the Centre was ready with draft for letter to take forward the issue.

“I welcome this auspicious step by the Union Cabinet, it will be a cup of joy for 12 crores 'Nanak Naam Laivas'. It will build bridges, burn animosity and will act as a soothing balm for two neighbouring countries,’’ tweeted Mr. Sidhu, who was canvassing for assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh.


Mr. Sidhu, who had in August visited Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Imran Khan, had after his return claimed that during the ceremony Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa had conveyed that Pakistan was contemplating to open Kartarpur border on Guru Nanak Dev's 550th Prakash Parv.

“I humbly request the Government to dispense their duty towards 12 Crore ‘Nanak Naam Laivas’ world over, by writing to the Pakistan Government. I hope the draft for the letter is ready as promised by Hon’ble EAM (External Affairs Minister) Sushmaji,'' he said in another tweet.

Ms. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who had accused Navjot Singh Sidhu of ‘wilfully lying’ that Pakistan was willing to open the Kartarpur Sahib corridor - claimed that it was the persistent requests of the Shiromani Akali Dal, following which Centre had taken the decision.

“On Shiromani Akali Dal’s persistent requests, the cabinet has given green signal to opening up of Kartarpur Sahab corridor. Eternally grateful to @narendramodiji and the entire cabinet for taking this historic decision,” tweeted Mrs. Harsimrat.

Meanwhile, Partap Singh Bajwa meanwhile, said "While I welcome the decision. However, given the sequence of events over the past few months, I am compelled to view the announcement with a certain degree of reservation," he said in a statement.

“The government has been oscillating on its position on the opening of the Kartarpur corridor. Earlier this year, the Union government categorically rejected holding any discussion with the Pakistan government on this issue. Such a policy flip-flop yields a degree of uncertainty to the issue,’’ he said.

Mr. Bajwa pointed out that a few days back, the Centre announced the installation of telescopes to view the Kartarpur Gurudwara from the Indian side, which is rendered meaningless if the government had indeed decided to allow devotees to visit the Gurudwara on the other side of the border.

"I do hope that the Centre government is sincere in its intent and genuinely seeks to work towards the opening and development of the corridor which is of immense importance to the Sikh community across the world," said Mr. Bajwa.

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