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Sidhu seeks govt clearance to attend Kartarpur corridor opening in Pak

By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Amritsar, Amritsar
PUBLISHED ON NOV 02, 2019 08:12 PM IST

Former Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday sought permission from external affairs minister S Jaishankar and chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to visit Pakistan for the inauguration ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor on November 9.

“As a humble Sikh, it shall be a great honour to pay obeisance to our great Guru Baba Nanak on this historic occasion and connect to our roots. Therefore, I may be permitted to visit Pakistan for this auspicious occasion,” said Sidhu in separate letters written to the external affairs minister and the CM.

Sidhu, who has received invitation from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to attend the ceremony, had courted controversy in August last year when he hugged Pakistan army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the oath-taking ceremony of Imran.

He had also attended the ground-breaking ceremony of the corridor in Pakistan.

Sidhu’s request for permission comes two days after the external affairs ministry said that those invited by Pakistan will have to get a political clearance under the rules.

Talking to the media here, former minister’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu said her husband will certainly go to Pakistan if he gets the required clearances.

MINISTER’S WIFE BACKS CM OVER PARKASH PURB EVENT

Over the deadlock over holding a joint function at Sultanpur Lodhi for the celebrations of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, Kaur said, “The CM has been trying his best for holding a joint function. The state government has the prerogative to hold any such programme. It should have been done as per the CM’s order. No one should have any doubt in this regard. If Shiromani Akali Dal considers itself a religious body, it should have given the CM priority to hold a single function.”

On Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa’s statement that he does not want to be part of the jatha that will visit Kartarpur Sahib on November 9 if Amarinder Singh leads it, she said, “It is his (Bajwa’s) personal view. But I don’t think that it’s right to speak against the CM by remaining in the same party.”

Regarding reports that Sidhu had secret meetings with BJP leaders recently, she said, “These are rumours. Whatever he does, he does it publicly, not secretly. He will never meet anyone secretly.”

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