Chandigarh: Punjab Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday said the Kartarpur Corridor has the potential to erase enmity between India and Pakistan and bring peace in the subcontinent.
Arriving in Pakistan on Tuesday after crossing through the Attari-Wagah joint check post, around 30 km from Amritsar, on Tuesday, Sidhu heaped praise on “friend” Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for ensuring that the corridor became a reality.
“The Kartarpur corridor will prove to be a path of peace. It will erase enmity between both countries,” Sidhu told media in Wagah in Pakistan.
Sidhu strongly batted for people-to-people and cricketing ties between India and Pakistan despite both the nuclear-armed neighbours who have gone to war earlier having increased tensions in recent years over Pakistan’s support to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of India.
The cricketer-turned-politician tried to steer clear of controversy over his visiting Pakistan despite strained relations between both countries and Indian soldiers being killed in firing from Pakistan side.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh turned down an invite from the Pakistan government to come to Wednesday’s foundation stone laying ceremony saying that the Pakistan Army was killing Indian soldiers and supporting terrorist elements creating trouble in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will on Wednesday lay the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor near the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara, where Sikhism’s founder, Guru Nanak Dev, spent the last 18 years of his life.
The corridor will give access to pilgrims from India, especially from the Sikh community, to visit the gurdwara which has a significant place in Sikh religious history.
It was at the Kartarpur gurdwara, which is located around 2-3 km from the India-Pakistan international border and is situated right opposite the border belt in Dera Baba Nanak in Indian’s Punjab’s Gurdaspur district, that Guru Nanak Dev spent 18 years of his life till he died in 1539.
The gurdwara, which fell in Pakistan territory following the Partition of India in August 1947, has big significance in Sikh religion and history.
For the past over 71 years, even since Partition, Sikhs have been offering prayers near the international border while seeing the gurdwara from a distance.