New Delhi: Amid raging controversies over Pakistan Army chief General Bajwa’s retirement and extension, a Pakistan minister has claimed that the opening of the Kartarpur corridor was Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa’s idea. “India will remember forever the kind of wound inflicted on it by Gen Bajwa by opening Kartarpur corridor,” Pakistan’s railway minister Sheikh Rashid said, contradicting with the official version of the PTI government that Pakistan PM Imran Khan was the mastermind behind the opening of the corridor.
“Gen Bajwa strongly hit India by opening the corridor. Through this project, Pakistan has created a new environment of peace and won itself love of the Sikh community,” he said.
However, General Bajwa didn’t attend the opening ceremony of the corridor.
In February 1999, the Kartarpur corridor was proposed by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he took a bus ride to Lahore during a peace initiative with Pakistan. It links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district.
On November 9, Khan inaugurated the Kartarpur corridor to facilitate the visa-free entry of Indian Sikh pilgrims to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikh religion– Guru Nanak Dev. While inaugurating the corridor, Imran Khan had told a gathering of over 12,000 devotees, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu: “I had no idea of the importance this place holds. I found out a year ago. I am happy we could do this for you.”
(With Agency Inputs)