Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday asserted that there has not been a formal communication on allowing Indian an access to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara Corridor. However, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said that the country remains open and positive about the issue. The statement came a day after Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu claimed that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has assured him of writing to the Pakistan government on the opening up of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor.
“There has not been a formal communication yet. Pakistan remains open and positive but there has not been a formal communication yet: Mohammad Faisal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan Spokesperson was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Describing the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara as Sikhs’ “own Mecca”, Sidhu had on Tuesday said it is the responsibility of the Indian government to make a formal request for opening of the Kartarpur corridor. He claimed that Pakistan had already shown “positive intent” in this regard. “During the 15-minute meeting with the Union minister, I explained about the necessity of opening of the corridor,” said Sidhu while talking to reporters.
“It is the responsibility of the Indian government to send a formal request for the opening of the corridor keeping in mind the sentiments of over 10 crore Sikhs, Punjabi and Sindhi community,” he added.
Sidhu claimed that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had already held a meeting with all stakeholders on this issue and his minister Fawad Chaudhary had also stated that Pakistan was willing to open the corridor and was waiting for India’s formal affirmation in this regard.
“She (Swaraj) heard me and told me that a draft is being prepared and she will write a letter to Pakistan government,” claimed Sidhu.
“The place (Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara) is located there (in Pakistan) and we want to go there (to pay obeisance). So we need to initiate talks and a formal request (for opening of passage) should go from our side,” said Sidhu.
Significantly, Union minister VK Singh said on Monday that India has “not received any proposal” from Pakistan to open the Kartarpur route.
(Inputs from PTI)