A veteran Akali leader, Kuldeep Singh Wadala, on Thursday demanded a safe corridor to Kartarpur Gurdwara in Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev lived for 18 years, from Dera Baba Nanak border.
Wadala urged the prime ministers of both India and Pakistan to initiate talks on the issue.
"If constructed, the corridor will help in cementing the India-Pak relationship and usher in peace in the subcontinent," Wadala, who is also the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member, said. "People of both countries want meaningful bilateral talks on the issue."
Wadala, who is to lead the 149th delegation of Sikh devotees to perform 'ardaas' on new moon on June 8, said that with Nawaz Sharif taking charge as the Pakistan Prime Minister, there was conducive environment to strengthen the bilateral relations.
The Akali leader said that during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Amritsar in 2004, the demand for the corridor was raised. "He (Manmohan Singh) assured that he would take up the issue with Pakistan," he said.
"On the Prime Minister's instruction, then union cabinet minister Pranab Mukherjee visited Dera Baba Nanak in June 2008 to assess the viability for the corridor. I accompanied him to the spot," Wadala recalled.
If the corridor was constructed, Sikh devotees would get hassle-free passage to the shrine to pay obeisance at the historic gurdwara, the Akali leader added.