Both India and Pakistan on Thursday cleared the decks for cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu to attend the inauguration of the much-awaited Kartarpur Corridor on November 9.
While the Centre on Thursday gave clearance to Sidhu to take part in the Kartarpur Corridor inauguration ceremony, Pakistan on Thursday issued him the required visa.
Sidhu on Thursday wrote to the Centre, asking it to make it clear if it had any inhibition on his attending the opening ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan. He has said if he receives no response to the latest letter — the third one written by him — he will go to the shrine across the border like “any other pilgrim”.
Earlier, MEA spokesperson Ravish Kumar said the inaugural event is a “very historic event” as India has been trying for the last 20 years that this can fructify. “I feel the event on November 9 is a very big event and it would not do justice to that event to highlight just one individual,” he said.
Sidhu had come under fire after he hugged Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during Prime Minister Imran’s swearing in ceremony.
Sidhu had then claimed that Gen Bajwa had told him about “making efforts to open the Kartarpur Corridor”.
“On the issue of a particular person going or not, or the specific travel plan of that person, I don’t think, considering the magnitude of the occasion, it would be appropriate that we comment on whether a particular individual can go or not,” Kumar said.
Meanwhile, in Islamabad, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said, “Pakistan has issued visa to Indian politician Navjot Singh Sidhu for his visit to holy shrine of Baba Guru Nanak”.
Faisal said Pakistan hoped a massive inflow of Sikh pilgrims from all over the world during the ceremony. He said the promotion of Hindu and Buddhist sacred sites situated inside Pakistan was also under consideration as the country was a cradle of ancient civilisations for centuries.