NEW DELHI – The Minister of Indian Punjab Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday welcomed Pakistan’s decision to open the Kartarpur border with India for the access of Sikh pilgrims.
“They (Pakistan) are ready to open the corridor of Kartarpur Sahib on the 550 birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Ji. There can be no bigger happiness than this for the people of Punjab,” said Navjot Singh Sidhu
Applauding the decision, a visibly happy Sidhu said the opening of the pilgrimage to Kartarpur has been a desire of millions of Sikh devotees which is being fulfilled.
Sidhu thanked Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s decision of keeping politics separate from religion. Sidhu expressed the hope that the decision will lessen the gap between the two countries.
Sidhu had recently courted controversy during his visit to Pakistan when he hugged the Pakistan Army General Qamar Javed Bajwa. The cricketer-turned-politician had termed the ‘hug’ as an “emotional” moment as General Bajwa had told him that they were making efforts to open the corridor from India’s Dera Baba Nanak to the Sikh shrine of Kartarpur Sahib.
Sidhu was in Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of his friend and former Cricketer, Imran Khan, as the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Earlier, Sidhu faced frequent criticism from the BJP and Congress leaders- including Indian Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, for attending the oath-taking ceremony of Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan and hugging the Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Responding to the outburst, he clarified that his visit was not intended for politics but to celebrate the success of his cricketer friend, to which he extended that the hug was an “emotional” moment as General Bajwa had told him about their efforts to open the corridor from India’s Dera Baba Nanak to the Sikh shrine of Kartarpur Sahib.