Bonhomie With Sidhu, Better Ties With India: Pak PM at Kartarpur
Kartarpur Corridor will pave the way for Indian pilgrims to visit Darbar Sahib Kartarpur Gurudwara in Pakistan, the final resting place of Guru Nanak.
Kartarpur Corridor will pave the way for Indian pilgrims to visit Darbar Sahib Kartarpur Gurudwara in Pakistan, the final resting place of Guru Nanak.(Photo: The Quint)

Bonhomie With Sidhu, Better Ties With India: Pak PM at Kartarpur

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday, 28 November, that all outstanding issues between India and his country, including the Kashmir dispute, can be resolved if there's a decisive leadership on both sides having the will.

"Our political leaders, our army are on one page. We want a civilised relationship with India," Khan said at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kartarpur corridor.

Earlier, Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu thanked Imran Khan at the ceremony, saying his name will be on the "first page when Kartarpur's history is written".

Imran Khan laid the foundation stone for the corridor in the presence of Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Indian Union Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri, and Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Snapshotclose

  • The MEA condemned Imran Khan’s reference to Kashmir during his speech at the ground-breaking ceremony
  • Pro-Khalistan leader Gopal Chawla was reportedly seen with the Pakistan army chief during the Kartarpur Corridor inauguration
  • Before the ground-breaking ceremony, EAM Sushma Swaraj had said that the corridor’s inauguration doesn’t mean that the India-Pakistan bilateral dialogue will resume
  • The corridor will pave the way for Indian pilgrims to visit Darbar Sahib Kartarpur Gurudwara in Pakistan, the final resting place of Guru Nanak

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KEY EVENT

Punjab CM Addresses Gathering at the Ceremony

Kartarpur Corridor Will Facilitate Easy Passage

The Kartarpur Sahib corridor will facilitate easy passage for Sikh pilgrims to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur  in Pakistan.

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

The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located three to four km from the border in Pakistan.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor on the Pakistani side on 28 November.

Congress Minister Objects to Badals' Names on Foundation Stone

A controversy erupted on Monday with a Congress minister objecting to the names of former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal engraved on the foundation stone to be laid for the Kartarpur Sahib corridor.

Punjab's Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa was reviewing the arrangements made for the function at Dera Baba Nanak here when he spotted the names of the Badals on the foundation stone.

A furious Randhawa then enquired about it with the officials concerned.

“I asked them (authorities) about the status of former CM Parkash Singh Badal and former deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal in the government. If they want to write their names, then the name of Rajinder Kaur Bhattal (Congress leader and former CM) and others should also be there.” 

He accused the Badals of never visiting the Dera Baba Nanak for "the opening of the corridor" when they were in power. “It's not a function of the BJP or the Akalis,” he said.

Pak Invites Indian Ministers to Pakistan for Ground-Breaking Ceremony

Pakistan extended an invitation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu to attend the ground-breaking ceremony.

While Swaraj responded to the invitation saying she would not be able to attend the ceremony due to “prior commitments”, she added that Union Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri would be the representatives for the Government of India.

Pakistan Calls India's Response 'Positive'

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday, 25 November, welcomed India's decision to send its two union ministers to attend the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor next week, terming it a "positive response."

"India has responded well to Pakistan's initiative in its bid to bring the Sikh community closer," he told the Associated Press of Pakistan during his visit to the stall of Indian High Commission at the Pakistan Foreign Office Women's Association charity bazar.

KEY EVENT

Naidu, Amarinder Lay Foundation Stone of Kartarpur Corridor

Captain Amarinder Singh (right) with Vice President Venkaiah Naidu (left) during the ceremony where they laid the foundation stone for the Kartarpur corridor. 
Captain Amarinder Singh (right) with Vice President Venkaiah Naidu (left) during the ceremony where they laid the foundation stone for the Kartarpur corridor. 
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@capt_amarinder)

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh lay foundation stone for Kartarpur Sahib corridor.

Amarinder Warns Pak Army Chief Over Attacks

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh launched a scathing attack on Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa over attacks in Pathankot and Amritsar and warned him against disturbing the peaceful atmosphere of Punjab and the country.

“I would like to ask Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Bajwa something, as a soldier. Which Army teaches to violate ceasefire and kill jawans on the other side? Which Army teaches to send people to attack Pathankot and Amritsar? This is cowardness,” said Singh.

“I am warning you( Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Bajwa), we are also Punjabis, you will not be allowed to enter here and vitiate the atmosphere,” he added.

Punjab Minister Objects to Name of Badals on Foundation Stone

A Congress minister objected to the names of former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal engraved on the foundation stone to be laid for the Kartarpur Sahib corridor.

Punjab's Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa was reviewing the arrangements made for the function at Dera Baba Nanak here when he spotted the names of the Badals on the foundation stone.

A furious Randhawa then enquired about it with the officials concerned.

“I asked them (authorities concerned) about the status of former CM Parkash Singh Badal and former Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal in the government? If they want to write their names, then the name of Rajinder Kaur Bhattal (Congress leader and former CM) and others should also be there,” Randhawa said.

He accused the Badals of never visiting the Dera Baba Nanak for "the opening of the corridor" when they were in power. It's not a function of the BJP or the Akalis, he said.

Real Credit for Kartarpur Corridor Goes to Imran Khan: Sidhu

Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday said that the "real credit" for initiation of the Kartarpur corridor goes to the former cricketer and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

"The real credit for the corridor goes to Imran Khan, and also to the people, who prayed for several years for its construction," Sidhu told News18.

Two Paradoxes Playing Themselves Out: Congress

Congress leader Manish Tiwari, commenting on the Kartarpur corridor said that India needs to be careful while dealing with Pakistan in this matter.

“You have two paradoxes playing themselves out. On one hand, you have this nation remembering those who were killed by the terrorists 10 years ago and you have got a kind of a new beginning with the Kartarpur Sahab Corridor,” he said.

“But we need to be extremely careful and extremely circumspect because with Pakistan it's not an easy narrative, not an easy journey. Therefore we swing between euphoria and moments of great aggression against each other. We need to find a policy towards Pakistan,” he said.

Navjot Singh Sidhu Crosses Attari-Wagah Border for Kartarpur Ceremony

Navjot Singh Sidhu waves as he crosses the Attari border to enter Pakistan.
Navjot Singh Sidhu waves as he crosses the Attari border to enter Pakistan.
(Photo: ANI)

Congress minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, on Tuesday, 27 November crossed the Attari-Wagah border to enter Pakistan, news agency ANI reported. He is going to attend the ground breaking opening ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor on 28 November.

Sidhu is attending the ceremony on the invitation of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Kartarpur Corridor Will Bring Peace: Navjot Singh Sidhu

Talking in Lahore at the opening ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, Sidhu raked his controversial hug with the Pak Army chief and said that the hug was driven by a norm between Punjabis.

“The hug was for hardly a second, it was not a Rafale Deal. When two Punjabis meet they hug each other, its normal practice in Punjab,” Sidhu said.

I feel that this corridor will be a bridge and erase enmity. It will increase people to people contact and bring peace. It is my belief that there are possibilities in it.
Navjot Singh Sidhu, Senior Congress Minister in Lahore

“This is a corridor of infinite possibilities, of peace, of prosperity, of opening up of trade relations,” the senior Congress minister said.

Had Asked Sidhu to Reconsider Decision to Go to Pak: Capt Amarinder

Reacting to Congress minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s visit, Punjab’s Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said he had asked Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu to reconsider his decision to go to Pakistan for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor.

However, he approved the permission sought by Sidhu since he did not believe in stopping anyone from undertaking a personal visit, reported The Indian Express.

“Sidhu told me he had already committed himself to go. When I informed him of the stand I had taken on the issue, he said it was his personal visit but he said he would get back to me. But I did not hear from him.”
Capt. Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab

He added that he did not go to the opening ceremony owing to the strong feelings on the issue.

“I have a strong bond with the Army and cannot stand seeing my people killed,” he said.

One of the Most Momentous Journeys of My Life: Hardeep Singh Puri

Union Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, who’s attending the ground-breaking ceremony on behalf of the India government, took to Twitter and called the opening of the Kartapur corridor “one of the most momentous journeys of my life”.

'Not Disappointed With Sushma's Absence'

“We believe India has been forthcoming. We are not not disappointed that Sushma Swaraj is not attending the event. Two ministers, both Sikhs, have been deputed by her to attend the ground-breaking ceremony.”
Pakistani diplomatic sources to News18

Kartarpur Corridor Will Allow Visa-Free Entry to Sikh Pilgrims

Kartarpur Corridor Inauguration: Hardeep Puri, Harsimrat Kaur Badal Address Media

Express Gratitude to Pakistan Govt, says Hardeep Singh Puri

“I feel extremely grateful and privileged to be able to make this pilgrimage. This was a long-standing demand of the Sikh community. I express gratitude also to the Pakistan government,” Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told reporters before leaving for Pakistan for foundation stone laying ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor.

Indian Ministers Puri, Badal Leave for Pakistan

Union Ministers Hardeep Puri and Harsimrat Kaur Badal have left for Pakistan to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor, reported news agency ANI.

Hardeep Puri and Harsimrat Kaur Badal leave for Pakistan.
Hardeep Puri and Harsimrat Kaur Badal leave for Pakistan.
ANI

Kartarpur Corridor Doesn't Mean Bilateral Dialogue Will Start, Says Sushma

“For many years, the Indian Government has been asking for this (Kartarpur) corridor, only now Pakistan responded positively. It doesn’t mean the bilateral dialogue will start because of this. Terror and talks can’t go together:”
Sushma Swaraj to ANI

Pak Army Chief To Attend Kartarpur Event

Chief of Staff of the Pakistan Army, General Qamar Bajwa, will be present at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, reported News18. Pakistan's Army confirmed the development.

A Pilgrimage Away From the Hate and Greed of Politics: Sidhu

Congress leader Navjot Sidhu termed the opening of the Kartarpur corridor a step towards building a relationship built upon the dreams, aspirations and spiritual quest of the common people. The Punjab minister wrote on Twitter, “Today marks the first step towards a people’s foreign policy.”

Trip to Kartarpur Is Pilgrimage Not a Political Visit, says Harsimrat

Participating in the Kartarpur Corridor foundation stone laying ceremony, an emotional Harsimrat Kaur Badal paid tributes to Guru Nanak Dev. She called the opening of the corridor a historic decision.

Pak PM, Army Chief Arrive At Venue

Pakistan PM Imran Khan, Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Indian Union Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Hardeep Singh Puri and Navjot Singh Sidhu arrived at the ground-breaking ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan on Wednesday, 28 November.

(Photo Courtesy: ANI)
KEY EVENT

Watch: Navjot Singh Sidhu Addresses Ground-breaking Ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor on Wednesday, Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu effusively praised Pakistan PM Imran Khan saying his name will be on the "first page when Kartarpur's history is written".

Calling for the two countries to set aside their differences and unite, Sidhu said that he sees a lot of potential in the corridor.

"Lots of violence and damage has been done. This has to end and peace has to come," he said.

Watch: Harsimrat Kaur Badal Addresses Ground-breaking Ceremony for Kartarpur Corridor

Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal too gave a message of peace at the Kartarpur ground-breaking ceremony, saying:

“When the wall of Berlin can be brought down, then the hatred between India and Pakistan can be brought down too, with the opening of Kartarpur Corridor. It can be a new beginning in the name of Baba Nanak who said, ‘Na koi Hindu na koi Musalman lekin ek Onkar.’
Harsimrat Kaur Badal
KEY EVENT

Watch: Pak PM Imran Khan Addresses Ground-breaking Ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor

Pakistan PM Imran Khan reiterated his message of peace to India at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor on Wednesday, 28 November, saying, "If India takes one step forward, then Pakistan will take two."

Khan further said a decisive leadership on both the sides can resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries, including the Kashmir issue.

“Both the countries have nuclear weapons, so how can there be a war? And if we are not having a war, then let us work for peace.”
Imran Khan at Kartarpur ground-breaking ceremony

Khan’s bonhomie towards Navjot Singh Sidhu was also apparent at the ceremony, as he questioned why he was criticised in India, purportedly for attending the former's oath-taking ceremony.

“I don’t know why he was criticised (in India). He was just talking about peace and brotherhood. He can come and contest elections here in Pakistan’s Punjab, he’ll win. I hope we don’t have to wait for Sidhu to become Indian PM for everlasting friendship between our nations.”
Imran Khan at Kartarpur ground-breaking ceremony
KEY EVENT

'Deeply Regrettable That Pak PM Chose to Politicise Pious Occasion': MEA

The Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday, 28 November, condemned Imran Khan's reference to Kashmir during his speech at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kartarpur Corridor, saying it is "deeply regrettable that the Pakistan PM chose to politicise the pious occasion".

The MEA statement read:

"Deeply regrettable that Pakistan PM chose to politicise the pious occasion, meant to realise the long-pending demand of the Sikh community to develop the Kartarpur Corridor, by making unwarranted reference to J&K, which is integral and inalienable part of India. Pakistan is reminded that it must fulfill its international obligations and take effective and credible action to stop providing shelter and all kind of support to cross-border terrorism from territories under its control."

Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri Return to India

Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri crossed the Attari-Wagah border on Wednesday evening to return to India, after attending the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kartarpur Corridor.

(Photo Courtesy: ANI)

'Kashmir is a Part of India and Will Stay That Way': Harsimrat Kaur Badal

Upon returning to India, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal responded to Pakistan PM's Kashmir remark during his speech, saying:

“I have told their media (Pakistani media) that Kashmir is a part of India and will stay that way. There is no scope of negotiation on this. I have told this clearly.”
Harsimrat Kaur Badal, as quoted by ANI

Meanwhile, minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the demand for the Kartarpur Corridor had been there for a long time, with the matter moving forward in November this year.

“In 1999, when Vajpayee ji went to Lahore and Parkash Singh Badal was a part of that delegation, this matter was raised during official talks.”
Hardeep Singh Puri, as quoted by ANI

On Imran Khan's joking remark that Navjot Singh Sidhu can contest election in Pakistan's Punjab, Puri said:

“He (Imran Khan) invited him (Sidhu) to contest the election in Pakistan. I didn’t ask him (Sidhu) what was his reaction, if he is shifting his constituency.”
Hardeep Singh Puri, as quoted by ANI

'He Has Some Good Relationships Over There': Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Sidhu

Speaking about Navjot Singh Sidhu after returning from the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kartarpur Corridor, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said:

“He (Sidhu) seems to have more of love and respect in Pakistan than what I noticed over here. He has some good relationships over there.”
Harsimrat Kaur Badal

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