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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

Navjot Singh Sidhu thanks ‘yaar dildaar’ Imran Khan for opening Kartarpur Corridor

Navjot Singh Sidhu was speaking at the inauguration of the 4. 7 km-long Kartarpur corridor linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2019 17:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu thanked his ‘yaar dildaar’ Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan for making history.
Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu thanked his ‘yaar dildaar’ Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan for making history. (Sameer Sehgal / Hindustan Times)
         

Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu regaled the crowds across the border in Kartarpur on Saturday with his urdu couplets as he thanked his ‘yaar dildaar’ Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan for making history and fulfilling the dream of four generations of Sikhs by opening the Corridor to Darbar Sahib in Pakistan.

Speaking at the inauguration of the 4. 7 km-long Kartarpur corridor linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in this Punjab district, Sidhu said “aaj jhappi rang le aayi”(today the hug has borne fruit). It was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the row he created by hugging Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa when he visited Pakistan for Imran Khan’s oath taking as the Prime Minister in 2018.

“For the first time since Partition, the fence has been broken down, ab border kholo, dil kholo,” said Sidhu in Punjabi amid slogans of ‘Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal’.

 Watch: Kartarpur Corridor Opening: PM Modi thanks Pak PM Imran Khan for cooperation

Imran Khan was seen applauding Sidhu’s speech, peppered with couplets in Urdu, several times.

Sidhu was part of the first batch of pilgrims that visited the shrine in Pakistan using the corridor, constructed to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. The batch included among others former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee members and all the 117 MLAs and MPs from Punjab, including ministers were part of the first ‘jatha’.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier inaugurated the passenger terminal building of the corridor on the Indian side, also known as the Integrated Check Post, where pilgrims will get clearance to travel through the newly-built 4.5 km-long corridor.

India had signed an agreement with the neighbouring nation on October 24 on the modalities for operationalisation of the corridor at ‘Zero Point’ of the international boundary at Dera Baba Nanak.