Long Live India, Pakistan and Imran, says Sidhu at Kartarpur event
Islamabad, Nov 28: Praising Imran Khan during his visit to Kaartarpur, Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu today thanked Pakistan Prime Minister for ending the 70-year old wait and said that whenever the history will be written about the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, his name will be written on the first page.
Sidhu showered praise on Khan saying history will remember him for bridging the gap between the two neighbours and for ending the 70-year wait of the Sikhs of India.
"Long live India, long live Pakistan," said Sidhu.
"Bloodshed must end, pain must end, peace must return...We have paid a big price, someone has to douse this fire. This corridor is full of promise, it will bring the two countries close," he said.
In an emotional speech, Sidhu said his parents used to see Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, which is just 4 km from the Gurdaspur border, from a distance and return with tears in their eyes as they could go no further . "My friend Imran Khan has wiped the tears of lakhs of Sikhs," he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that "the mistrust between India and Pakistan can be removed through revisiting the message of peace and love."
"If the Berlin Wall can fall, then the mistrust between two neighbourly countries, India and Pakistan, can also be removed through revisiting the message of peace and love spread by Guru Nanak," Harsimrat said. Guru Nanak spent his last years on the other side of the border, just four kilometres away, she said, adding that at times the chanting of devotees can be heard on the Indian side of the border.
"Guru Nanak spent 18 years of his life at Kartarpur & spread his message of peace and love. Today is historic not just for the Sikh community, but for the people and the Governments of India and Pakistan," an emotional Harsimrat said.
"We have been so close, but so far for 70 years," she said. "Scores of Sikhs are on this journey for the first time today. I have no friends, no relatives here (in Pakistan). I never thought I would be here," she added.
Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone for the corridor to facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims from both the sides. Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan is located across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. It was established by the Sikh Guru in 1522.
The first Gurdwara, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, was built here, where Guru Nanak Dev is said to have died. India was represented by Union ministers Harsimrat and Hardeep Singh Puri at the event. Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu also attended the ceremony.
India proposed the construction of the corridor to Pakistan nearly 20 years back. Last week, Pakistan and India announced that they would develop the corridor on their respective side of the border to help Indian pilgrims visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.