New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has invited former cricketer and Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for the groundbreaking ceremony of Kartarpura corridor, which will take place on November 28. However, there is no official confirmation from the Sidhu’s side.
PM Imran Khan will lay the foundation stone for the corridor on the Pakistan side and on the Indian side, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and President Ram Nath Kovind will lay the foundation stone on Nov 26. (ALSO READ: Facing Criticism at Home Over Hug, Sidhu Finds Ally in Pak PM Imran Khan)
The invitation comes after both the countries agreed to open the corridor for the Sikh devotees for Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.
Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday tweeted, “Pakistan has already conveyed to India its decision to open Kartarpura Corridor for Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary. PM Imran Khan will do break ground at Kartarpura facilities on 28th November. We welcome the Sikh community to Pakistan for this auspicious occasion.” (ALSO READ: Navjot Singh Sidhu Defends Himself, Says Was Asked to Sit Next to PoK leader)
The decision came after the Union Cabinet had approved the building and development of Kartarpura Sahib corridor between Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district and the International Border, aimed at providing easy access to pilgrims the holy Gurudwara in Pakistan.
Recently, Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had attended Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony in Islamabad in August, had said that Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa hinted at opening of the route to Gurdwara Kartarpura Sahib on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, which will be observed in November next year. (ALSO READ: It Was Wrong to Show Affection Towards Pak Army Chief: Amarinder Singh on Sidhu’s Hugplomacy)
Earlier this month, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had urged External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to take up with the Pakistan government the issue of opening the corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to Kartarpur Sahib.
Last month, Pakistan had said that its decision on opening the corridor connecting the two Sikh shrines (Kartarpura Sahib, Pakistan and Dera Baba Nanak, India) will depend on whether India holds any dialogue with Pakistan or not.
The corridor is being built to facilitate Indian pilgrims to visit the holy Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpura in Pakistan – where Guru Nanak spent 18 years.
Kartarpura is situated in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province, close to Indo-Pak border. It was established by the first Sikh Guru in 1522. The first Gurdwara, Gurdwara Kartarpura Sahib, was built here, where Guru Nanak Dev is said to have died.
Kartarpura Sahib in Pakistan is located across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district.