New Delhi: In a major development, former Punjab Minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday got the permission from the Centre to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib on the occasion of Kartarpur Corridor inauguration. As per reports, he will visit as a guest of the Pakistani government at the inaugural ceremony of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on November 9.
The development comes after Sidhu wrote a third letter to the Ministry of External Affairs to grant him permission to go with the first batch of pilgrims to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. In the third letter, he had also threatened to go to the inaugural ceremony even if he does not get permission from the government.
“Sir, Despite repeated reminders you have not responded to whether or not the government has granted me permission to go to Pakistan for the inauguration ceremony of Gurudwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur Corridor. The delay and no response is a hindrance to my future course of action,” his letter stated.
As a law-abiding citizen, he mentioned in the letter that he wants to visit Pakistan after Central government’s approval. “I categorically state that if the government has any inhibitions and say no then, as a law-abiding citizen, I will not go. But if you don’t respond to my third letter, then I will proceed to Pakistan as millions of Sikh devotees go on eligible Visa. Awaiting your response,” the letter said.
The development came after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier sent a formal invitation to Sidhu to attend the inaugural ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan.
Prior to writing to the MEA, he had also written to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, requesting for permission to visit Pakistan for the same.
However, Sidhu, who had earlier attended the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, was not included in a Congress delegation, which will be visiting the gurdwara on November 9.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the corridor from the Indian side while Imran Khan will open the route on the other side.
Meanwhile, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, in response to Sidhu’s letter, earlier in the day, had said that the inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor is a historic event and it is not important to highlight any one individual.