Punjab

Sidhu urges Sushma Swaraj to make efforts to get Kartarpur corridor opened

September 09, 2018 07:44 PM
Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, Pakistan

Chandigarh: Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has written to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj asking her to “make every possible effort and bring boundless joy and happiness to the Sikh community world over” over the demand to open up a Kartarpur Sahib corridor.

The visa wrangles have deprived numerous pilgrims from reaching this historic Gurudwara over the years. The rift between two neighbours grew so much over the years that even visiting historical Gurudwaras at will became a problem

Sidhu says in his letter dated September 8, 2018: “Pakistan has shown a positive intent towards the long-pending demand of ‘Kartarpur Sahib Corridor’.”

Full contents of the letter have been reproduced below.

Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Sidhu

I hope you are doing well and in the best of spirits. Sushma Ji, when the partition happened in 1947, not only geographical, economic, emotional and social setbacks came but many historical Gurudwaras were left in Pakistan. Since then, the Sikhs living in India, who always offer prayers to pay obeisance in the separated Gurudwaras have to rely on visas to make a visit to the holy shrines left there.

Among various historical Gurudwaras left in Pakistan, Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib Ji is of great significance. This is the place where Guru Nanak Dev Ji spent almost 18 years of his life. The Gurudwara Sahib is very close to the International border.

Such is the sentiment of the pilgrims in India that they visit the border everyday just to have a glimpse of this holy shrine through binoculars arranged by the Border Security Force at the Border in the Dera Baba Nanak region of India.

Some touch the holy earth and some depart with tearful eyes. But are deprived of paying obeisance at this holy shrine.

The visa wrangles have deprived numerous pilgrims from reaching this historic Gurudwara over the years. The rift between two neighbours grew so much over the years that even visiting historical Gurudwaras at will became a problem.

Now an opportunity has knocked on our doors. Pakistan has shown a positive intent towards the long pending demand of ‘Kartarpur Sahib Corridor’. Pilgrims and we all have been demanding for this corridor since 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 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 dev Ji, it is time for India to take a positive step on this highly emotional issue.

When opportunity knocks, kindly step up and open the door.

The opening of this Corridor will be a huge thing for the Sikh community all over the world. Even though both neighbours have had sour relations for decades but 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 the Kartarpur Sahib corridor must be taken as Sikh sentiments are strongly attached with it. Hoping for a positive response from you!

Thanking you. 

Personal regards

Navjot Singh Sidhu

Cabinet Minister, Punjab

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