New Delhi: Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday thanked Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for enabling the opening of the Kartarpur corridor. “Today, I have succeeded in life,” said Sidhu told the media, claiming that PM Imran Khan had lived up to his promise of opening the corridor.
“See what my friend has done. I thank you Khan Saab (Imran Khan) a million times for doing this,” Sidhu said, adding that things happened with the blessings of Guru Nanak.
The Kartarpur corridor will allow pilgrims from India to go to a gurdwara in Pakistan, close to the India-Pakistan border, which is associated with Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev.
Sidhu even claimed that the Pakistan government had invited the government of India for talks on the Kartarpur corridor issue.
Earlier in the day, Sidhu had said that Pakistan is ready to open the corridor of Kartarpur Sahib on the 550 birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Ji.
Sidhu also took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which criticized him for his statements earlier on the issue and the hug that he gave to Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan as Pakistan’s Prime Minister in Islamabad last month.
During his visit to Pakistan Sidhu had faced ire for embracing the Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa. The hug had been criticised by the opposition as well as Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Sidhu had defended hugging Pakistan’s Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa at that ceremony, saying it was an emotional response after the general told him that Pakistan was making efforts to establish the corridor.
Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan is located across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district. The 550th birth anniversary of the first Sikh Guru, who breathed his last in Kartarpur, is being observed in November 2019. The gurdwara, which fell in the Pakistan territory following the partition of India in August 1947, has big significance for Sikh religion and history.
(With agency inputs)