Sidhu allowed to accompany Sikh ‘jatha’ to Pak

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New Delhi, Nov 7 (IANS) Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has been allowed by the government to accompany the Sikh ‘jatha’ that will travel to Darbar Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan via the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9, sources said here on Thursday.

The Ministry of External Affairs has, however, denied Sidhu, a former state minister in Punjab, the permission to travel to Pakistan via Wagah. Pakistan had extended Sidhu the first invitation for the event and had even offered him a visa.

The ‘jatha’ will travel to Darbar Sahib Gurudwara, a holy shrine of the Sikh religious community in Pakistan, using the corridor which will be thrown open for the first time on November 9.

Sidhu had written to the External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar seeking permission to travel to the holy shrine via Attari-Wagah, which would require Pakistan visa. He wrote that if he didn’t “get response to his third letter seeking permission to visit Pakistan, then he will proceed as a devotee on an eligible visa”.

Sidhu had not applied for accompanying the ‘jatha’ that will be led by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to the Kartarpur gurdwara. Officials said all Punjab MLAs were asked to apply, but Sidhu preferred to opt out.

The Darbar Sahib Gurudwara, located some 4 km from the border with India, is believed to have been built on the site where Guru Nanak died in the 16th century. It is going to be linked with the 4.2 km-long Kartarpur Sahib Corridor.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9 and dispatch the first lot of pilgrims to visit Darbar Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan’s Punjab province on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev that falls on November 12.

–IANS

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