Navjot Sidhu seeks permission to attend Kartarpur Corridor inauguration on Pakistan’s invitation, writes to EAM S Jaishankar

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Published: November 6, 2019 12:46:33 PM

Sidhu said in his letter that he wishes to visit Gurudwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur to meditate on November 9, have langar, attend the opening ceremony and return by evening.

Navjot Singh Sidhu, Kartarpur Corridor opening ceremonyImran Khan and Navjot Singh Sidhu. (File photo. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf/Twitter)

Kartarpur Corridor opening ceremony: Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has written to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar seeking clearance to visit Pakistan to attend the Kartarpur Corridor opening ceremony scheduled to be held on November 9.

Sidhu said in his letter that he wishes to visit Gurudwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur to meditate on November 9, have langar, attend the opening ceremony and return by evening. The Amritsar MLA also said if the abovementioned travel plan was not approved due to some reason, he is ready to visit Pakistan via the Wagha Border on November 8 and return the next day.

“At present I don’t have a visa a for Pakistan. Your early response would determine my future course of action,” Sidhu said in his letter.

Earlier this month, Sidhu has sent a similar letter to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh seeking permission to travel to Pakistan for the event. “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. Therefore I may be permitted to visit Pakistan for this auspicious occasion,” the cricketer-turned-politician said.

The Ministry of External Affairs had in October made it clear that all political personalities and people invited by Pakistan to attend Kartarpur Corridor event will need prior political clearance to visit the neighbouring nation.

Sidhu had triggered a huge row in August last year when he was seen hugging Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan. The then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had slammed the Congress leader, saying he could have ‘avoided’ the gesture.

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