VP Naidu to lay foundation for Kartarpur corridor today

New Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday will lay the foundation stone for the construction of Dera Baba Nanak-Karatarpur Sahib road corridor.

The corridor will reach up to the international border with Pakistan.

The foundation stone laying ceremony will be performed in the Mann village of Gurdaspur district in Punjab.
Vice President Naidu will be accompanied by Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has also announced that the party leadership and workers would take part in the ground-breaking ceremony of the proposed corridor to Shri Kartarpur Sahib on the Indian soil while singing hymns of Gurbani on November 26.

The decision to build the corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to the International Border was taken on November 22 by the Union Cabinet.

On the same day Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, had announced that Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan would be breaking ground for the Kartarpur corridor on November 28.
The development of the corridor will facilitate lakhs of pilgrims from India to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur on the banks of river Ravi, in Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev spent 18 years.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had issued a Note Verbale to the Pakistani Government, urging it to develop a corridor with suitable facilities in its territory from the International Border to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib to facilitate the easy access and passage of Indian pilgrims throughout the year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while participating in the Gurpurab celebrations on November 23 had said that Kartarpur Corridor could be a reason to connect people, adding that the incidents of 1947 should be left behind.

He had also added that if the Berlin Wall, which restricted the relationship between the people of East and West Germany could be pulled down, then the Kartarpur Corridor between India and Pakistan can also promote people to people contact.

The Pakistan Government on November 23, extended an invitation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Punjab cabinet minister and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor on November 28.

The invitation was, however, declined by Swaraj citing her prior commitments pertaining to election campaigns. Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Minister of State (IC) for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri would be representing the Indian government in the groundbreaking ceremony.

A day later, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also declined Pakistan’s invitation to attend the Kartarpur Corridor foundation-laying ceremony to be held on November 28, citing continued terrorist attacks in his state and killings of Indian soldiers by Pakistan armed forces as the reason.

Interestingly, Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has accepted the invitation and will be attending the opening ceremony of Kartarpur corridor.