Lahore: Terming Kartarpur as a "corridor of infinite possibilities", Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said on Tuesday that such initiatives would promote peace and erase "enmity" between India and Pakistan.
Sidhu, who arrived in Lahore along with a group of Indian journalists to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor in Narowal, some 120 kilometres from Lahore, was greeted at the Wagah Border by officials of Pakistan's Punjab province.
The 4-kilometre-long corridor will connect Dera Baba Nanak in India's Gurdaspur district with Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib Narowal in Pakistan. The corridor will provide visa-free access to the Indian Sikh pilgrims to the gurdwara.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will perform the groundbreaking of the corridor on Wednesday.
Sidhu thanked Khan for making this corridor possible which he said will help promote peace between the two countries. "This will erase enmity between the two nations," he said.
"The seed Imran Khan had sown three months ago has become a plant. It is a happy moment for the Sikh community that the corridor to reach Kartarpur to get Baba Guru Nanak's blessing without any hassle," he told the media.
He said the wait of 73 years is over after the opening of the corridor.
"Karturpur corridor will prove to be a path of peace,” Sidhu added. He termed it as a "corridor of infinite possibilities" and said through such initiatives, peace would be promoted (between the two countries).
"There are numerous artistes and cricketers in both the countries whom everyone loves and there need to be cricket matches between India and Pakistan," he said when asked about the restoration of cricketing ties between the two nations. "There are many fans of Imran, Wasim Akram and Javed Miandad in India, similarly in Pakistan, Shah Rukh and Salman Khan have a huge fan following."
Sidhu said the initiative could open door of several opportunities for both the countries.
"Religion should not be seen through the eyes of politics," the former Indian cricketer-turned-politician said. Responding to a question regarding criticism of his decision to visit Pakistan, Sidhu said, "I forgive those who criticised me."
"I have been a fan of Imran Khan since I was a child," Sidhu said as he joked and recited verses in Punjabi. Kartarpur is located in Shakargarh in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province. It is said that Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, had spent more than 18 years of his life there. The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located on the banks of the Ravi River, about three-four kilometres from the border in Pakistan.
On Monday, Indian vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh laid the foundation stone of the corridor in Gurdaspur.
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Updated Date: Nov 27, 2018 16:53:45 IST