Days after accepting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s invitation to attend the opening ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh seeking permission for the visit.
In his letters to the External Affairs Minister and Punjab CM, Sidhu said that as a “humble” Sikh, it would be a “great honour” for him to pay obeisance to Guru Nanak Dev on his 555th birth anniversary and “get connected to his roots”.
Earlier in the day, Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur said that he has applied for required clearances as he had received a special invitation from the office of Imran Khan, and added that the Congress leader will “certainly go” if he gets the permission.
According to a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) press release, Sidhu had thanked Khan for inviting him to the inauguration.
“I’m grateful to the prime minister for inviting me to the historic inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor,” he was quoted as saying.
On the directives of Imran Khan, PTI Senator Faisal Javed had contacted Sidhu and extended the invitation.
Referring to Sidhu’s acceptance of the Pakistani invite to the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the “political clearance” would have to be sought for it.
“Those who Pakistan wants to call have to take political clearance,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a briefing, to a question on Sidhu accepting an invite by Imran Khan to attend the November 9 inauguration ceremony.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday announced that Sikh pilgrims from India would not need a passport to travel to Kartarpur and no fee would be charged on the opening day of the corridor on November 9.
The corridor will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Punjab with Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur, just about four km from the international border, located at Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province.
After the inauguration of much-awaited Kartarpur corridor on November 9, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a public gathering at the Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur.