'Moment of pride': Pakistan's Sikh body hopes Sidhu's elevation will help reopen Kartarpur corridor
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu's elevation as the Punjab Congress chief has made Pakistan's Sikh body proud and it hopes that Sidhu would be instrumental in reopening the Kartarpur corridor after it was closed owing to the Coronavirus pandemic. Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee's general secretary Amir Singh in a video message congratulated Sidhu and said the 'lehnda (West) Punjab' is equally happy for Sidhu's new appointment.
"This is the pride of the entire Sikh community," Amir Singh said adding that Sidhu played a crucial role in the opening of Gurdwara Kartarapur Sahib in 2019. "But I have an appeal as well. Sidhu should also take up the matter of reopening the corridor from the Indian side. We hope that you will address this issue with the same enthusiasm."
"I also hope that like you went to seek the blessings from Golden Temple after becoming Punjab Congres chief, you will come to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib through this corridor to seek blessings," Amir Singh said.
On November 9, 2019, Sidhu attended the inauguration ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan and stole the show displaying bonhomie with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. His speech in which he equally praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Imran Khan for the Kartarpur project, went viral. "I came to thank mera yaar who transformed mere babe da ghar (my Guru’s place) into heaven in months...Punjabis on both sides suffered the pain of Partition. Modi and Khan have applied balm...I may have political differences but I will give Modi a Munna Bhai MBBS ki jhappi (hug)," he had said.
The corridor was closed from both sides on March 16, 2020 in the wake of the Covid-19. While Pakistan had opened the shrine in October 2020, India is not allowing pilgrimage registration. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee already urged the government to reopen Kartarpur pilgrimage when all other religious sites in the country reopened after the first wave of the pandemic.