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Kartarpur corridor: Amarinder's name black-taped on foundation stone

The foundation stone laying ceremony will be performed in the Mann village of Gurdaspur district in Punjab

Venkaiah Naidu  |  India Pakistan Relations  |  India Pakistan Ties


Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh
Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh. Photo: PTI

Objecting to names of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) members being included on the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor, Punjab Minister Sukhwinder Singh Randhawa on Monday black-taped names of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder and his state cabinet colleagues on the plaque.

Randhawa also struck-out his name using black tape. "I did this as a mark of protest against Parkash and Sukhbir Badal's names on the stone. Why is their name here? They are not part of the executive, it is not a Bharatiya Janata Party-Akali event," he told ANI.

Hitting out at Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal for accepting Pakistan's invitation to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the corridor in the neighbouring country, Singh said: "Harsimrat Kaur Badal had called Navjot Sidhu a 'qaum ka gaddar' (one who betrayed the community), now she herself is going to Pakistan, with what face will she go? Akali Dal had not taken up issue even once when they were in power."

Vice President M will lay the foundation stone today for the construction of Dera Baba Nanak-Karatarpur Sahib road corridor, which will reach up to the international border with Pakistan.

The foundation stone laying ceremony will be performed in the Mann village of Gurdaspur district in Punjab.

Vice President Naidu will be accompanied by Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Amarinder Singh.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has also announced that the party leadership and workers would take part in the ground-breaking ceremony of the proposed corridor to Shri Kartarpur Sahib on the Indian soil while singing hymns of Gurbani.

The decision to build the corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to the International Border was taken on November 22 by the Union Cabinet. A day later, Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, had announced that Pakistan's Prime Minister would take part in the ceremony on November 28 in his country.

The development of the corridor will facilitate lakhs of pilgrims from India to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur on the banks of river Ravi, in Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev spent 18 years.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had issued a Note Verbale to the Pakistani Government, urging it to develop a corridor with suitable facilities in its territory from the International Border to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib to facilitate easy access and passage of Indian pilgrims throughout the year.

The Pakistan Government on November 23 had extended an invitation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Amarinder Singh and Punjab cabinet minister and former cricketer for the event.

The invitation was, however, declined by Swaraj citing her prior commitments pertaining to election campaigns. Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Minister of State (IC) for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri would be representing the Indian government, she said.

A day later, Amarinder also declined Pakistan's invitation to attend the foundation-laying ceremony to be held on November 28 citing continued terrorist attacks in his state and killings of Indian soldiers by Pakistan armed forces as the reason.

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First Published: Mon, November 26 2018. 11:15 IST