Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has appealed to the Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to respond to the Imran government’s offer to provide special corridor for Sikh pilgrims to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib. He has emphasized that this is an opportunity which should be used well. “Opportunity has knocked on the doors, and India too must take a step in the positive”. In a two-page letter written to Sushma, he mentioned that when the partition happened in 1947, not only geographical, economic, emotional and social setbacks came but many historical gurdwaras were left in Pakistan.
Since then, Sikhs living in India, who always offer prayers to pay obeisance in the separated gurdwaras have to rely on visas to make a visit to the holy shrines in Pakistan. Among various historical gurudwaras in Pakistan, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib is of great significance to the community. This religious place is locatedvery close to the border. Sidhu has mentioned in the letter that such are the sentiments of pilgrims in India that they visit the border every day just to have a glimpse of the holy shrine using binoculars arranged by Border Security Force in the Dera Baba Nanak region of India.
Sidhu has stated that visa wrangles have deprived numerous pilgrims from reaching this historic gurdwara. “Now, an opportunity has knocked on our doors. Pakistan has shown a positive intent towards the long-pending demand. Pilgrims and we all have been demanding for this corridor for years. Some positivity came on this issue when I visited Pakistan for the oath-taking ceremony of prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan but now, with their information minister Fawad Chaudhary categorically saying that the Corridor will be opened and even visa won’t be required to visit this as part of the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, it is time for India to take a positive step on this highly emotional issue,” Sidhu mentioned in his letter to Sushma
.He said that opening of this Corridor will be a huge thing for Sikh community all over the world. “Even though both countries have had sour relations for decades, the corridor if opened can bring peace and prosperity between the two countries”.
“This can break barriers, build bridges and improve relations between the two nations.
My humble submission to you is to make every possible effort and bring boundless joy and happiness to the Sikh community world-over as the Kartarpur Sahib corridor is one dream they have lived forever. With Pakistan showing positive intent, common belief is that this can turn into reality”. Appropriate measures on Kartarpur Sahib Corridor must be taken as Sikh sentiments are strongly attached with it, Sidhu cited.