Punjab Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has been pitching for opening of a corridor for Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan, welcomed the Centre’s decision to develop passage from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur to Pakistan.
Sidhu’s reaction came moments after Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) released a Note Verbale to the Pakistan government asking it to develop a corridor with suitable facilities in its territory from the International Border to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib. The decision by the Narendra Modi-led government was announced on the eve of Guru Nanak Gurupurab.
“I welcome this auspicious step by the Union Cabinet, it will be a cup of joy for 12 crore ‘Nanak Naam Laivas’. It will build bridges, burn animosity and will act like a soothing balm for two neighbouring countries,” Mr Sidhu said in a tweet.
“I thank the Govt of India from the core of my heart and take a bow! I request the Hon’ble PM of Pakistan @ImranKhanPTI Sahib to take reciprocal steps for opening the Kartarpur Sahib corridor and spread Baba Nanak’s message of universal brotherhood and peace across the Globe,” he added.
I welcome this decision, its above politics. I welcome the step of Pakistan Govt also. This will be recorded in history in golden words: Navjot Singh Sidhu on #KartarpurCorridor pic.twitter.com/r8seOhsTsi
— ANI (@ANI) November 22, 2018
Later on Thursday evening, Pakistan also conveyed to India its decision to open the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims in India on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said today that the development “could help ease tensions between the two neighbours,” PTI reported.
Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan is situated across the river Ravi, which is around four kilometres away from Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in Punjab. Guru Nanak is said to have spent 18 years of his life here. It was built by the Sikh Guru in 1522. The first Gurdwara – Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, was constructed here, where Guru Nanak Dev is believed to have breathed his last.