Indian Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Monday laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Kartarpur corridor which will link Dera Baba Nanak in India to Pakistan’s Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, reported the Hindustan Times.
“I am happy that Pakistan accepted the long-pending demand of Kartarpur corridor fulfilling the demands of the Sikh community. Now, you would not have to take a long and arduous route through the Attari border. The corridor will become a symbol of love and peace between both countries,” Naidu said after laying the foundation stone.
The Chief Minister for Indian Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh took a more antagonistic stance, using the occasion to warn Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa that he would not be allowed to “vitiate the atmosphere”.
At Prime Minister Imran Khan’s inauguration in August, it was General Bajwa who told Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu that Pakistan was ready to open the route to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib for Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.
An Indian delegation, including two ministers and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, will travel to Pakistan to attend the November 28 groundbreaking ceremony of Pakistan’s side of the Kartarpur border corridor.
India’s Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Minister for Housing and Urban Areas Hardeep Singh Puri will be part of the delegation.
Sidhu has confirmed he received an invitation from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s office. Talking to an Indian daily, Sidhu said he will surely attend the event if the Indian government allows him.
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib – located in the Kartarpur area of Narowal – is the final resting place of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Devji.
India had earlier not responded to the offer. But New Delhi last Wednesday announced it would start construction of the Kartarpur corridor up to the international border with Pakistan. The announcement was immediately welcomed by Islamabad as ‘victory for peace’.
This article originally appeared on the Hindustan Times.