Punjab minister and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu yesterday attended the swearing-in ceremony of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. After meeting the Pakistan army General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the oath-taking ceremony of Mr Khan, Sidhu announced that Pakistan may allow Sikh pilgrims a direct access to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur. The Gurdwara is situated hardly 3 km from the border in Gurdaspur and holds a special place among people of Sikh community.
“Without my asking, I received this precious gift. General Bajwa hugged me and said, they were thinking of opening the Kartarpur route during Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary celebrations. I had been thinking our chief minister (Captain Amarinder Singh) would take this up with Pakistan, but the general made this gracious gesture on his own. He also said we want peace,” Sidhu said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad.
The Sikh community had been asking a ‘special corridor’ for the Gurdwara through the international border and here comes the gift on Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.
This declaration from Navjot Singh Sidhu came when he was being sharply criticized for his gesture of hugging Pakistan General Bajwa and sitting seating next to Pakitan occupied Kashmir president Masood Khan during Khan’s oath-taking ceremony. His act was termed as ‘against the national interest’ by Bharatiya Janata Party, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Aam Aadmi Party.
Sidhu also used his poetic style to praise his friend Imran Khan and also wished Khan’s taking charge as the Prime Minister of Pakistan to be good for the peace process between the two countries.