New Delhi: Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday said that Pakistan is ready to open the corridor of Kartarpur Sahib on the 550 birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Ji. Talking to news agency ANI, Sidhu said, “There can be no bigger happiness than this for the people of Punjab.”
It is to be noted here that Sidhu had attended the oath-taking ceremony of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on August 18 and declared that the country may allow Sikh pilgrims from India direct access to the historic Gurdwara.
Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan is located across the river Ravi, about four kilometers 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.
On August 22, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had written a letter to the Centre seeking access for Sikh pilgrims to the Kartarpur Sahib shrine in Pakistan, an issue which his minister Navjot Sidhu said figured briefly during his visit to Islamabad.
He had urged External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to take up the matter with her Pakistan counterpart so that devotees can visit the historic gurdwara during the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
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.