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Kartarpur Pak ceremony Highlights: Sidhu seems to have more love and respect in Pakistan, says minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal

Kartarpur corridor foundation stone laying ceremony: Pakistan PM Imran Khan on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for Kartarpur corridor, which will facilitate the visa-free travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

By Rezaul H Laskar | Nov 28, 2018 22:54 IST
highlights

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for Kartarpur corridor, which will facilitate the visa-free travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

Vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh had on Monday laid the foundation stone of a road, from Dera Baba Nanak town in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district, which will connect the Kartarpur Corridor.

India had proposed the corridor to Pakistan around 20 years back. The issue recently came into focus after Sidhu visited Pakistan in August to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan as the prime minister.

Last week, Pakistan and India announced that they would develop the corridor on their respective side of the border to help Indian pilgrims visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

Here are the highlights:

9:51pm IST

Sidhu seems to have more love and respect in Pakistan: Harsimrat Kaur

“He (Sidhu) seems to have more of love and respect in Pakistan than what I noticed over here. He has some good relationships over there,” says Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal at Attari-Wagah Border after returning from ceremony in Pakistan.

7:55pm IST

Told Pak media that Kashmir is part of India: Harsimrat Kaur Badal

Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal says, “I have told their media (Pakistan media) that Kashmir is a part of India and will stay that way. There is no scope of negotiation on this. I have told this clearly.”

7:38pm IST

Didn’t ask for Sidhu’s reaction to Imran Khan’s election comment: Minister

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s remark that Sidhu can contest election in Pakistan’s Punjab, “He invited him (Sidhu) to contest election in Pakistan. I didn’t ask him (Sidhu) what was his reaction, if he is shifting his constituency,” Puri says.

7:33pm IST

Demand for Kartarpur Corridor raised during Vajpayee’s 1999 Pak visit: Minister

“In 1999 when Vajpayee ji went to Lahore and Parkash Singh Badal was a part of that delegation, this matter was raised during official talks. This demand had been there for a long time and the matter moved forward in November 2018,” says Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Kartarpur Corridor.

7:25pm IST

Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Hardeep Singh Puri return to India

6:31pm IST

Sidhu’s decision to appreciate Pakistan puts a question mark on his credentials as true Indian: BJP

BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh said, “Sidhu is such a minister who does not listen to his own chief minister.”

“A minister is a part of the cabinet and it is the chief minister who takes a call on state policies. When the CM told Sidhu to reconsider his decision of going to Pakistan, then he should have agreed to it,” he said.

Chugh hailed Amarinder for declining the invitation of Pakistan government to attend the ceremony.

“Knowing well that Pakistan is killing our soldiers on borders and is also trying to revive terrorism in Punjab, Sidhu’s decision to appreciate Pakistan and his eagerness to join the function in Pakistan puts a question mark on his credentials as a true Indian,” the BJP leader said.

6:15pm IST

Quite strange that Sidhu is disobeying his CM: Akali Dal

The Shiromani Akali Dal slammed Navjot Singh Sidhu for “disobeying” Amarinder Singh on visiting Pakistan despite the chief minister telling him to reconsider his decision.

“It is quite strange that Sidhu is disobeying his chief minister. If he cannot respect the feelings of his CM then he should not be in the cabinet. If you disagree with your boss, then you have no right to be under the chief minister’s command,” SAD spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said.

6:01pm IST

Pak indulging in all kinds of terror activities, cross-border terrorism: Javadekar

“When Pakistan is indulging in all kinds of terror activities and cross-border terrorism, one needs to be very cautious about it. It is not an enthusiasm or a laughter challenge from Sidhu,” says Union minister Prakash Javadekar.

5:59pm IST

Sidhu praised Imran Khan more than what was due: Javadekar

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar says, “The most objectionable thing in Sidhu’s Pakistan trip is that he referred to various domestic issues which is not done in any diplomatic relations. He praised Imran Khan more than what was due and praised him to the hilt.”

5:45pm IST

Pak PM politicised pious occasion by unwarranted reference to J-K: MEA

In its statement MEA said, “It is deeply regrettable that the Prime Minister of Pakistan chose to politicise the pious occasion meant to realise the long pending demand of the Sikh community to develop a Kartarpur corridor by making unwarranted reference to Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral and inalienable part of India.

Pakistan is reminded that it must fulfill its international obligations and take effective and credible action to stop providing shelter and all kind of support to cross border terrorism from territories under its control.”

5:21pm IST

Kartarpur to be seen in isolation, shouldn’t be linked to anything else: Army chief

“Everybody talks about giving peace a chance. You see what the government said today. This (Kartarpur Corridor) is to be seen in isolation. It shouldn’t be linked to anything else. This is unilateral decision and has no links with other things.” Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Khalistani Gopal Chawla seen with Pak CoAS General Bajwa during Kartarpura Corridor inauguration.

5:09pm IST

Onus of whatever Sidhu says in Pak lies on him alone: Congress leader

“Navjot Singh Sidhu went there on personal invitation. He didn’t go there in an official capacity as a minister. This has also been clarified by the Punjab CM. The onus of whatever he says there in his personal capacity lies on him alone,” Congress leader Pratap Singh Bajwa tells ANI.

5:01pm IST

MEA issues Sidhu visa for Pak, then talks about what he says there: Congress leader

“Navjot Singh Sidhu went there (Pakistan) for the second time in 3-4 months. Who issued him visa? MEA. First, you issue him a visa and then you talk about what he did he say after going there,” Congress leader Pratap Singh Bajwa tells ANI.

4:22 pm IST

Sidhu can come and contest election here, he’ll win: Imran Khan

I heard there was a lot of criticism of Sidhu when he went back after my oath-taking ceremony. I don’t know why was he criticised. He was just talking about peace and brotherhood. He can come and contest election here in Pakistan’s Punjab, he’ll win: Imran Khan

4:18 pm IST

If India takes one step forward, we will take two steps: Imran Khan

If India takes one step forward, we will take two steps forward: Imran Khan

4:17 pm IST

Pakistan parties and army all are on the same page: Imran Khan

On friendship with India, Pakistan PM Imran Khan said, our parties and army all are on the same page.

“I want strong relationship with India. Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership are on same page on this,” said Imran Khan.

4:16 pm IST

There’s no issue that can’t be solve: PM Imran Khan

Man has reached the moon... there’s no issue that can’t be solve, says Pakistan Prime Minister.

The only issue between us is Kashmir, all it needs is just two capable leaderships to resolve this issue. Just imagine the potential we will have if our relationships get strong: Imran Khan

4:12 pm IST

Must improve our ties no matter what: PM Imran Khan

Must improve our ties no matter what, says PM Imran Khan

4:08 pm IST

Champions take risks, chances, says PM Imran Khan

Champion take risks and chances, says PM Imran Khan

4:06 pm IST

Will keep improving the facilities at Kartarpur: Imran Khan

Will keep improving the facilities at Kartarpur: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

4:01 pm IST

All religions respected in Pakistan: Pakistan’s foreign minister

Hoping that the Kartarpur corridor will bridge distance between the two countries, Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the country doesn’t differentiate between religions.

“All religions are respected in Pakistan,” said Qureshi.

3:51 pm IST

Hope peace corridor ends hatred: Harsimrat Badal

Terming the Kartarpur corridor as peace corridor, Union minister Badal hoped that it ends all the hatred. Reiterating PM Modi’s statement while referring to the Berlin Wall, an emotional Badal said “If the Berlin wall can fall, even the walls between India and Pakistan will fall with this corridor.”

3:41 pm IST

Sidhu heaps praise on Imran Khan

Speaking at the event, Navjot Sidhu praised the Pakistan prime minister and said “History will remember Imran Khan for bringing the two countries together with this (Kartarpur) corridor.

Sidhu also thanked the Indian government for approving the corridor project.

3:37 pm IST

Sidhu speaks at Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony

Navjot Sidhu is speaking at Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony.

“With this, Imran Khan has ended 70 years of wait,” said Sidhu hailing India and Pakistan.

“Long live India, long live Pakistan,” said Sidhu.

3:29 pm IST

If we can get more hugs from Sidhu, many of the problems will be solved: Pak minister

At the groundbreaking ceremony of Kartarpur corridor, a Pakistan minister said that if the country gets more hugs from Sidhu, many problems will be solved.

“I would like to mention Navjot Sindhu’s hug to Pakistan army chief. If we get more hugs from Sidhu, many of our problems will be solved,” he said.

Sidhu had hugged the Pakistani army chief Bajwa during the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan as Pakistani PM, which has created quite a stir back home.

3:06 pm IST

Imran Khan lays foundation stone for Kartarpur corridor

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan has laid the foundation stone for Kartarpur corridor.

Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan is located across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. It was established by the Sikh Guru in 1522. The first Gurdwara, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, was built here, where Guru Nanak Dev is said to have died.

The development comes ahead of Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary next year.

2:57 pm IST

Imran Khan arrives for Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan has arrived at the venue for Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony.

 

2:44 pm IST

Kartarpur corridor expected to be fully functional before 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak

Pakistan’s ministry of foreign affair spokesperson while speaking to Radio Pakistan said, “We expect the Kartarpur corridor to be fully functional before 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.”

2:37 pm IST

Pak PM Imran Khan to arrive shortly at the venue to lay foundation stone for Kartarpur corridor

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan to arrive shortly at the venue to lay the foundation stone for Kartarpur corridor. The much-awaited corridor will link gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur- the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev - to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district

2:13 pm IST

“Had asked Sidhu to reconsider decision to go to Pakistan,” said Punjab CM on Tuesday

Amid controversy over Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan for Kartarpur corridor’s foundation laying ceremony, chief minister Amarinder Singh said he had asked Sidhu to reconsider his decision to go to Pakistan.

“I had asked Sidhu to reconsider his decision to go to Pakistan for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor, but had acceded to his (Sidhu’s) request for permission to go since I did not believe in stopping anyone from undertaking a personal visit,” Amarinder told media on Tuesday.

Click here to read Amarinder Singh’s full statement on Navjot Sindhu’s visit to Pakistan.

Navjot Sidhu, had on Monday defended his decision to go to Pakistan saying he had the “chief minister’s permission”.

Punjab cabinet minister and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu (4th L) walks after entering Pakistan from India at the border crossing in Wagah on November 27, 2018. - Sidhu arrived in Pakistan to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor in Nankana Sahib scheduled for November 28. (AFP)

1:41 pm IST

Today marks a pilgrimage away from hate of politics: Sidhu

Navjot Singh Sidhu after reaching Pakistan for the foundation laying ceremony of Kartarpur corridor said, “Today marks a pilgrimage away from the hate and greed of politics, and towards a relationship built upon the dreams, aspirations and spiritual quest of the common people. Today marks the first steps towards a people’s foreign policy.”

1:17 pm IST

Kartarpur is a great example of how religion can bring people together: Mehbooba Mufti

Former Jammu-Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufit said on Wednesday that Kartarpur is a great example of how religion can bring people together, urging Delhi and Pakistan to facilitate Sharda Peeth pilgrimage for Kashmiris .

12: 53 pm IST

Pakistan PM Imran Khan likely to talk about ties with India at the Kartarpur corridor ceremony

Even as Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan is scheduled to lay the foundation stone for the Kartarpur, speculations are rife that he might talk about ties with India at the ceremony.

India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking place. The ties between the two countries strained after the terror attacks by Pakistan-based groups in 2016. Pakistan had invited EAM Sushma Swaraj, who thanked her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi for the invite and said she was unable to travel to Kartarpur Sahib due to prior commitments.

12:38 pm IST

Pakistan army chief general Qamar Javed Bajwa to attend Kartarpur corridor ceremony

Pakistan army chief general Qamar Javed Bajwa will be attending the groundbreaking Kartarpur corridor ceremony.

The issue of Kartarpur Sahib came into focus after minister Navjot Singh Sidhu visited Pakistan in August to attend the oath-taking ceremony of his cricketer-turned politician friend Khan as the Pakistan prime minister.

11:50 am IST

Kartarpur corridor not connected with dialogue with Pak: Sushma Swaraj

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said the Kartarpur corridor initiative is not connected with the dialogue process with Pakistan and talks can start the moment Islamabad stops terror activities in India.

India has been asking for a corridor, which will facilitate visa-free travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, for many years and she said she was happy that Pakistan had for the first time responded positively. “But that does not mean that bilateral talks will start only on this,” she said, adding that terror and talks can’t go together. Swaraj, who is campaigning here ahead of the Telangana elections on December 7, was addressing a press conference. “The moment Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, the dialogue can start but the dialogue is not connected with only the Kartarpur corridor,” she said.

Read: Welcome Kartarpur Corridor but talks only after Pak stops terrorism, says Sushma Swaraj

The EAM also said that India will not participate in SAARC until Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India.

11:45 am IST

Going to the ceremony as a Sikh: Harsimrat Badal

Calling the foundation laying ceremony historic, a visibly emotional Union minister Harsimrat Badal said “I have not been invited by anyone but I am going there as a Sikh.”

“I am going there to offer prayers to the first Guru at a place where he spent the last days of his life,” she said.

Union MoS (I/C) in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal before leaving for Pakistan to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of Dera Baba Nanak-Kartarpur Sahib corridor via Attari-Wagah border, about 35 km from Amritsar, Wednesday on November 28, 2018. (PTI)

11:41 am IST

Privileged, blessed to get an opportunity to visit Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara

Union ministers Hardeep Puri and Harsimrat Kaur Badal said they were blessed to have got an opportunity to visit Kartarpur Sahib.

EAM Swaraj, who was unable to travel to Kartarpur Sahib due to prior commitments, had said Puri and Badal will represent India in Pakistan at the foundation stone laying ceremony.

Talking to reporters at Attari in Amritsar, Badal said it was an emotional moment for her to visit the historic Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan. Puri said he was privileged and blessed to get an opportunity to pay obeisance at the shrine

“This is a historic occasion. The Kartarpur Corridor has been a long-pending demand of the Sikh community. I am privileged to be going there to offer prayers,” she said.

“I feel extremely grateful and privileged to be able to make this pilgrimage. This was a long-standing demand of the Sikh community. I express gratitude also to Pakistan government,” said Puri before leaving for Pakistan for Kartarpur corridor foundation stone laying ceremony.

11.30 am IST

Union ministers cross over to Pakistan for Kartarpur Corridor ceremony

Union Ministers Hardeep Puri and Harsimrat Kaur Badal leave for Pakistan to attend Kartarpur Corridor foundation stone laying ceremony.