Less than 24 hours after India and Pakistan reached an agreement over the opening of Kartarpur corridor, Delhi has strongly protested against the harassment and denial of access to Indian High Commission officials while accompanying Sikh pilgrims in Pakistan.
After India and Pakistan said they'll develop a corridor to help Sikhs travel to the final resting place of Guru Nanak, their faith's founder - a gurdwara in Kartarpur, Pakistan, Sidhu said that this happy development is the "result" of a hug.
Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan is located across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab's Gurdaspur district.
As part of efforts to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in 2019, Indian missions overseas will be asked to organise special events. The 550th birth anniversary of the revered Sikh figure is next year.
Hug-plomatic victory or not, the creation of a corridor between Kartarpur and the Indian border district of Gurdaspur is significant - it is a long-pending demand of the Sikh community.
It is pertinent to mention here that Prime Minister Imran Khan will break ground on the Kartarpur facilities on Nov 28. The decision was made at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in view of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in 2019.
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Even though Pakistan, on 19 September, had claimed that there was no formal communication with India regarding the construction of the Kartarpur Corridor, The Express Tribune reported that Pakistan has chose to begin the project later this month.
"This is their historic and unprecedented tribute to the Sikh sentiments contained in our daily "Ardas" (prayer), seeking unrestricted "Darshan Deedar and Seva Sambhal" (paying obeisance) of all historic shrines from which the Sikh community was weaned away following the partition in 1947, said Badal".
Punjab minister Navjot SIngh Sidhu on Thursday welcomed the Centre's approval for setting up "Kartarpur corridor" while the Congress party's Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa raised reservation on the decision.
"It is a step in the right direction", said Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan's information minister, as he welcomed India's announcement that it would begin construction.
"The Government of India has been oscillating on its position on the opening of the Kartarpur corridor. We welcome the Sikh community to Pakistan for this auspicious occasion", Qureshi tweeted.