Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Pakistan as a path-breaking step, Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said on Friday the initiative would certainly strengthen bilateral relations and bring people of India and Pakistan closer to each other.
“I wish this is the beginning of a constructive and uninterrupted dialogue. Modi’s visit is a sign of statesmanship as Rashtraneeti is above Raajneeti. National interest is paramount and it should never succumb to partisan politics,” he added.
Raising the issue of the much-awaited pilgrimage corridor to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib located on the Pakistan side of the Punjab border at Dera Baba Nanak, Sukhbir said the Punjab government and the SGPC had been requesting the union government and also Pakistan to create this pilgrim corridor to the Sikhs’s historical shrine. “Sentiments of the Sikhs are attached to Gurdwaras in Pakistan and the PM should ask Pakistan’s federal government to give free access to pay obeisance there,” Sukhbir stated, adding that Modi should also request the Pakistan PM to ensure an easier visa regime for pilgrims.
He also sought the opening of visa offices in Amritsar and Lahore for convenience of pilgrims, traders and industrialists.