Pakistan invites Navjot Singh Sidhu to attend Kartarpur Corridor opening ceremony: report

Updated: Oct 31, 2019, 13:46 IST | PTI | Lahore

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to formally inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9, ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak on November 12

Navjot Singh Sidhu
Navjot Singh Sidhu

Lahore: Pakistan has invited cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu to attend the inaugural ceremony of the landmark Kartarpur Corridor which will be opened for pilgrims on November 9, a media report said on Wednesday.

India and Pakistan last week signed the agreement on the Kartarpur Corridor that will allow Indian pilgrims to undertake visa-free visit to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the shrine of the Sikh religion's founder Guru Nanak Dev in Pakistan, notwithstanding a chill in bilateral ties over Kashmir. The agreement will allow 5,000 Indian pilgrims daily to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib where Guru Nanak spent last 18 years of his life.

On the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Faisal Javed contacted Sidhu and extended the invitation for the opening ceremony, The Express Tribune reported. In August last year, Sidhu attended the oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister Khan.

The corridor will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Punjab with Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur, just 4 kilometres from the International Border, located at Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province. India and Pakistan signed the agreement after three rounds of tough negotiations despite bilateral relationship witnessing a chill recent years.

The ties touched a new low when India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August following which Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties and expelled the Indian envoy. Indian pilgrims of all faiths and persons of Indian origin can use the corridor and the travel will be visa-free. Each visitor would be required to pay USD 20 as fee, though India has requested Pakistan not to charge the Indian pilgrims. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to formally inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9, ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak on November 12.

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