Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu expressed his appreciation for the opening of Kartarpur corridor by thanking Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The now-open corridor will enable pilgrims to travel to Pakistan to visit a gurdwara, known to be associated to Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev.
Guru Nanak Dev had spent 18 years at the Kartarpur gurudwara, located around four km from the India-Pakistan international border and right opposite the border belt in Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Punjab’s Gurdaspur district.
“Today, I have succeeded in life,” he told media in Chandigarh on Friday and acknowledged the PM’s kept promise of opening the corridor.
“See what my friend has done. I thank you Khan Saab (Imran Khan) a million times for doing this,” Sidhu said. He said that this had happened with the blessing of Guru Nanak.
He also hit back at earlier criticisms of hugging Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan.
Earlier, while defending the hug, he had said, “The Pak Army chief said they were making efforts to open a corridor from India’s Dera Baba Nanak to the historic Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib. What followed was an emotional moment.”
Earlier, Amarinder Singh slammed Sidhu after he hugged Pakistan Army Chief during Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony, PTI reported.
“Everyday our jawans are getting martyred. To hug their Chief General Bajwa…I am against this. The fact is that the man should understand that our soldiers are being killed every day,” he told news agency ANI.
In response, Sidhu defended himself by saying, ““If someone (Bajwa) comes to me and says that we belong to the same culture and we’ll open Kartarpur border on Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th Prakash Parv, what else I could do?”
Earlier, while talking to reporters after his arrival to Pakistan, Sidhu said he had come to the country “with a message of love” to become a part of Khan’s happiness.
He said he was saddened by the demise of former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who he recalled had started the friendship bus service between the two countries. He said he had brought a Kashmiri shawl as a gift for the PM-in-waiting.
Senior BJP Leader Subramaniam Swamy slammed Sidhu on for his plan to travel to Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of PM-in-waiting Imran Khan. Swamy to news agency ANI said, “This visit would be a big blow to his political career, people will call it treachery and if he is mentally sound and stable he should not do the same.”