LAHORE: Former Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu arrived in Kartarpur on Saturday to participate in the birth anniversary celebrations of Sikhism founder Baba Guru Nanak.
Sidhu arrived via Kartarpur Corridor on the occasion of the 552nd birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak. Speaking to the media, Navjot Singh Sidhu said he was delighted at his arrival in Kartarpur.
“I have come to the door of Baba Guru Nanak to beg for peace,” he said. Sidhu addressed Prime Minister Imran Khan, his friend since cricket days, as his “elder brother”.
His visit comes two days after the chief minister of Indian Punjab Charanjit Singh Chann and his cabinet members visited Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur and performed religious rituals. However, Sidhi was excluded from the delegation a tussle emerges between the two leaders.
Channi and some of his cabinet ministers offered prayers at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in travelling there through the Kartarpur corridor. “I am very happy to come here. I have received immense love from Punjabis, Pakistanis and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, and I am highly indebted for this,” Channi said after reaching the temple.
Indian authorities earlier this week announced to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor on the eve of the 552nd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Pakistan in a goodwill gesture already opened the Kartarpur Corridor and taken special measures to facilitate the pilgrims arriving in the country.
On Thursday, Sidhi shared a video recalling his visits to Pakistan, including the shrine, that he had uploaded over an hour-long visual, comprising several clippings of his visits to various places in the neighbouring country. He named it “The Kartarpur Story”.
The Kartarpur Corridor, a visa-free crossing, allows Indian Sikhs to visit the temple in Pakistan where Guru Nanak died in 1539AD after spending the last 18 years of his life. It was first opened in 2019 on Baba Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.
Pakistan upgraded the facilities to allow the complex to accommodate more pilgrims. The white-domed shrine in the small town of Kartarpur is just four kilometres (2.5 miles) inside Pakistan. Entry to the corridor was suspended in March 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.