Pakistan High Commission has granted a visa to Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu for visiting Pakistan for Kartarpur Corridor inauguration on November 9. However, the Punjab legislator still awaits clearance for the Indian government.
With a visa, he can cross over at Wagah but as an elected representative of an Indian state legislature, he needs political clearance for attending any ceremony held by the Pakistani government.
The cricketer-turned-politician had sought the External Affairs Ministry’s permission to visit Pakistan for the ceremony. In a letter written to MEA, the Congress leader said he had been invited by the Pakistan government for the opening ceremony of the corridor, which will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in Punjab.
“As a humble Sikh, it shall be a great honour to pay obeisance to our great Guru Baba Nanak on this historic occasion and connect to our roots,” wrote Sidhu, who is a legislator from Amritsar East.
“Therefore, I may be permitted to visit Pakistan for this auspicious occasion,” the former minister said.
He has also written a letter to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who forwarded it to the chief secretary for necessary action.
The corridor will facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the Ravi river.
Sidhu had come under fire from the opposition after he hugged Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa during the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Imran Khan in August last year.
Sidhu had then also claimed that Gen Bajwa had told him about “making efforts to open the Kartarpur corridor”.