Bhopal: Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu who was caught in the controversy after he hugged Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa during his visit to the neighboring country to attend the swearing ceremony of Imran Khan earlier this year turned out to have had a good impact on people of both neighboring countries.
Referring to the Central government’s approval to develop Kartapur Sahib corridor, Sidhu said: “My hug turned out good for 15-16 crores of people as the central government is now making move to develop the corridor from the International Border to Gurudwara Kartapur Sahib. At least this deal was not similar to Rafale deal.”
Kartarpur Sahib is the famous worship place of Sikhs where Guru Nanak is believed to have spent 18 years of his life. This place is situated in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Now the union cabinet on Thursday approved the proposal of setting up a corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to the International Border, NDTV reports.
Meanwhile, the External Affairs Ministry has also sent a formal communication to the Pakistan government, urging it to develop a corridor with suitable facilities in its territory from the International Border to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib.
Pakistan too agreed to the request to open the corridor for Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.
Responding to Sidhu’s hug, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had then said:
“Somebody of that stature going (to Pakistan) and then there hugging the Chief of the Army- an Army about which in India we have very clear feelings-certainly has an impact on the soldiers, on all the people in the Ministry and the public.”
While Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had also criticized the act of his cabinet colleague.
“I think it was wrong for him (Sidhu) to have shown the affection he did for the Pakistan Army chief, I am not in its favour,” the CM had said.
Mr Sidhu on his arrival to India defended his action and asked what was he supposed to do in return when someone tells him that “we belong to the same culture” and initiates the talks of opening the historic Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib route for Sikh followers.
Welcoming the government’s decision, Mr Sidhu said: “I welcome this auspicious step by the Union Cabinet, it will be a cup of joy for 12 crore ‘Nanak Naam Laivas’. It will build bridges, burn animosity and will act as a soothing balm for two neighbouring countries.”