LAHORE: India’s cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu said on Friday he is all set to visit Pakistan again to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of Kartarpur border corridor, which will enable Indian pilgrims to visit one of the holiest sites of the Sikh faith in Pakistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will do groundbreaking of the event scheduled for November 28. The move to open the corridor, analysts say, might thaw the frosty relationship between the two neighbours.
On Wednesday, New Delhi announced that it would start construction of the Kartarpur corridor up to the international border with Pakistan. The announcement was immediately welcomed by Islamabad as ‘victory for peace’.
The Indian move came nearly three months after Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had offered to open the route to facilitate Sikh pilgrims. The COAS told Sidhu at the inauguration of Prime Minister Imran on August 18 that Pakistan was ready to open the route to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur for Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.
The Congress leader told The Express Tribune today that he has gladly accepted the invitation, sent by Prime Minister Imran for the November 28 event. He said the Pakistani premier was his friend and he will visit the country whenever he is invited by him.
Sidhu said he would not shy away from visiting Pakistan even if he had to crawl on his knees since the country was about to fulfill its promise of opening the Kartarpur corridor. “I don’t have words to express my joy,” he remarked on the development.
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib – located in the Kartarpur area of Narowal district of Punjab – is the final resting place of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Devji, and one of the holiest shrines of the Sikh community.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has also confirmed that the former Indian cricket star will visit the country. This will be Sidhu’s second visit to Pakistan this year.
The former cricketer courted controversy at home by embracing General Qamar Javed Bajwa on his visit for Imran Khan’s oath-taking as the country’s premier.
Last month, Sidhu once again stirred more controversy by saying that going to Pakistan was better than South India owing to the cultural similarities.