AMRITSAR: Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has sought permission from the the Indian ministry of external affairs to attend the inauguration of Kartarpur corridor in Pakistan
Sidhu written a letter to the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar seeking permission to travel to Pakistan. He also wrote to Indian Punjab’s chief minister Amarinder Singh to get his go-ahead for the trip.
Sidhu has been invited by Pakistan government to attend the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9, ahead of the celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev,
In his letter to the MEA, Sidhu wrote, “As a humble Sikh, it shall be a great honour to pay obeisance to our great Guru Baba Nanak on this historic occasion and connect to our roots.”
Indian authorities has stayed firm on providing permission to only those part of the official delegation to Gurudwara Darbar Sahib through the Kartarpur Corridor. India has shared the list of the delegation with Pakistan.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday amidst reports of Pakistan inviting cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu for an inaugural event of the corridor.
The delegation list includes personalities from different sides of the political spectrum, including several ministers from the Indian Punjab government.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Indian Punjab Chief Minister Amrinder Singh and union minister Hardeep Puri are among the 575 people who will be part of the inaugural delegation through the Kartarpur Corridor.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday has said those not part of India’s official delegation will have to take political clearance as per the normal procedure/
“Those whom Pakistan wants to invite and who want to go in future, they have to take the normal political clearance as is required for a visit to a foreign country. The due process that is applicable needs to be followed,” he said.
As per the normal procedure, a political visit needs clearance from the government. Senator Faisal Javed reportedly contacted Sidhu and extended the invitation for the opening ceremony on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Sidhu attended the oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister Khan in August last year.
Pakistan and India signed the Kartarpur Corridor agreement last week that will allow pilgrims to undertake visa-free visit to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. The agreement will allow 5,000 Indian pilgrims daily to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib where Guru Nanak spent last 18 years of his life.
The corridor will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Punjab with Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur, just 4 kilometres from the International Border, located at Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to formally inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9, ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak on November 12.
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