New Delhi: Moments after Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued a Note Verbale to the Pakistan government urging it to develop a corridor with suitable facilities in its territory from the International Border to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib, the Punjab Government's Culture Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu urged Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to take reciprocal steps for opening the sanctum.
Sidhu tweeted, "I thank the Indian government from the core of my heart and take a bow. I request the Prime Minister of Pakistan ImranKhan Sahib to take reciprocal steps for opening the Kartarpur Sahib corridor and spread Baba Nanak's message of universal brotherhood and peace across the Globe".
Describing the sentiments of people on the opening of Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib for Indians, the 55-year-old Congress leader further tweeted, "I welcome this auspicious step by the Union Cabinet, it will be a cup of joy for 12 Crore 'Nanak Naam Laivas.' It will build bridges, burn animosity and will act like a soothing balm for two neighbouring countries."
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal also lauded the Centre for its move saying, "Today is the historic day for all the Sikhs residing in India. We want to thank our Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his decision. Each day all the Sikhs during their prayers request God to open gates the Gurudwaras situated in Pakistan for them. This demand of developing Kartarpur Sahib corridor was put forth not only by SAD but also other groups for past couple of decades. The Sikh groups also urged the central government to build efficient infrastructure so that Indian Sikhs at any point of time in the year can pay visit to this Gurudwara without any hassle."
In its letter, the MEA headed by Sushma Swaraj stated, "The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India presents its compliments to the High Commission for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in New Delhi and has the honour to refer to the longstanding proposal to create a corridor to facilitate easy and smooth access for Indian pilgrims to visit Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, which has been under discussion between the two sides. The Ministry has the honour to convey that on the occasion of the 550th Prakash Parab of Guru Nanak Devji, the Government of India has decided to build and develop 'Karatarpur Corridor' from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district in India to the International Border. In this context, the Government of India urges the Government of Pakistan to recognise the sentiments of the Sikh community and to develop a corridor with suitable facilities in its territory from the International Border to Gurudwara Kartapur Sahib to facilitate easier access and smooth passage of India pilgrims through the year. The MEA avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the High Commission for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the assurances of its highest consideration."
The Note Verbale came shortly after the Union Cabinet of India, in a meeting chaired Narendra Modi, passed a resolution to celebrate the 550th Birth Anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Devji, which falls in 2019, throughout the country and across the globe, in a grand manner. During the meeting, it was decided that the Indian government will also urge the Government of Pakistan to recognise the sentiments of the Sikh community and develop a corridor with suitable facilities in their territory as well.
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Updated Date: Nov 22, 2018 18:59:24 IST