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Kartarpur corridor opens borders of heart and mind; accept Pak offer: Sidhu

'A journey that our people can walk together towards, a future of shared peace and prosperity for India and Pakistan,' says Sidhu

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

Navjot Singh Sidhu
Navjot Singh Sidhu

on Sunday accepted Pakistan's invite to attend the ground-breaking ceremony of a corridor to the Sahib across the border on Wednesday, saying this initiative would open "the borders of hearts and the mind".

The foundation stone of the Sahib corridor on the Indian side will be laid by and on Monday.

Singh has declined to attend the ceremony in Pakistan, citing its continuous support to terrorist activities in his state and killing of Indian soldiers by armed forces.

He, however, welcomed the historic occasion and described it as the cherished desire of Sikhs around the world, but said he "must most reluctantly, however, regret his inability to be present".

On Sunday, wrote to Foreign Shah Mahmood Qureshi, accepting his invitation for the ground-breaking ceremony, where will also be present.

"It is with great honour and unalloyed joy that I accept your invitation to attend the ground-breaking ceremony at Sahib on November 28. I look forward to meeting you on this historic occasion," wrote to Qureshi.

The Local Government, Tourism and wrote that his application "for permission to attend (the ceremony) is now lodged with the Ministry of External Affairs".

In the letter, Sidhu said that this day "will indeed break ground."

"As our nations take this first step, the Kartarpur Spirit can make pilgrims of us all, venturing out on a journey that breaks the barriers of history and opens the borders of hearts and the mind," he said.

"A journey that our people can walk together towards, a future of shared peace and prosperity for and Pakistan".

Sidhu was responding to Qureshi's letter to him dated November 24, in which the Pakistani had said, "This has been a long-standing demand of the Sikh community, especially those from You remained a steadfast partner in this endeavour."

Sidhu responded, "Good deeds speak for themselves, the hand only interprets their eloquence. Every noble act makes way for itself."

The minister had welcomed the Indian government's decision to develop passage from Dera in in his state to the historic shrine in the neighbouring country.

The decision coincided with the 549th birth anniversary of Sikhism's on Friday.

The government will build and develop the corridor from district to the International Border to facilitate Sikh pilgrims from to visit Darbar on the banks of the

In August, Sidhu had come under fire from opposition parties in Punjab after he visited and hugged Gen during the swearing-in of as of that country.

Sidhu had claimed then that Gen Bajwa had told him about "making efforts to open the Kartarpur corridor".

Kartarpur is located in in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab. Guru Nanak Dev, the of Sikhism, had spent more than 18 years of his life there.

The is located about three-four km from the border in Pakistan.

First Published: Sun, November 25 2018. 15:40 IST