Minister of State for External Affairs General (retd) VK Singh on Sunday clarified that Punjab Minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu was never condemned for advocating for the opening of the Kartarpur corridor, a new border entry and road to allow pilgrims from India to visit a Gurudwara in Pakistan. The Minister in an exclusive interview to ANI, while responding to the question if Sidhu’s critics must apologise, said that “Criticism was not on Kartarpur. It was on certain things and do not deserve comment at the moment.” He added, “Anything happening for good of country and community, people are in it, they will get a commendation. If they do not go by that, people will criticise.”
The corridor made headlines in August after Congress party politician Sidhu, on returning from the oath-taking ceremony of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, said that the neighbouring country had decided to open the corridor of Kartarpur Sahib. In a landmark decision, after many weeks of internal consultations and preparation within the government, the Union Cabinet on Thursday approved building and development of Kartarpur corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to India-Pakistan International Border. The following day, the Pakistan government reciprocated and said that they would open route next year on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. The ground-breaking ceremony on the Pakistani side of the corridor is slated for on November 28. The Kartarpur route along the India-Pakistan border is 3 kilometres away from Gurdaspur, Punjab. If opened, it will allow Sikh pilgrims a direct access to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan, where Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life and died in 1539.