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Kartarpur corridor: Captain Amarinder Singh lauds Navjot Sidhu’s efforts, hails Pak move

Amarinder was at Sultanpur Lodhi on Monday to seek suggestions from ‘sant samaj’ for commemorating 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak next year

punjab Updated: Sep 10, 2018 21:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kapurthala
Amarinder Singh,Navjot Singh Sidhu,Kartarpur corridor
On Sunday, Sidhu wrote to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to “make every possible effort” to accept the offer by the Pakistan government to open a corridor to Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara.(PTI File Photo)

Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday appreciated the efforts of local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and termed Pakistan’s announcement to open the Kartarpur corridor a welcome move for Sikh pilgrims.

Amarinder was at Sultanpur Lodhi on Monday to seek suggestions from the “sant samaj” for commemorating the 550th birth anniversary of the first Sikh master Guru Nanak next year.

Pakistan information minister Fawad Chaudhry in an interview to BBC Urdu last week said the Kartarpur border crossing with India will be soon opened for Sikh pilgrims to visit a historic gurdwara without visas.

On Sunday, Sidhu wrote to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to “make every possible effort” to accept the offer by the Pakistan government to open a corridor to Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara so that Sikhs from India can pay obeisance at the historic shrine on the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak next year.

The CM said the year-long celebrations will focus on Guru Nanak Dev’s life, his ideology and his works, which continue to inspire millions of people across the globe. Amarinder has constituted a committee comprising Sidhu, cooperation minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and PWD minister Vijay Inder Singla for preparing the blue print for the mega celebrations.

The CM said on the suggestion of the state government, the Centre had formed a 36-member national committee under the chairmanship of the Union home minister, with the Union finance minister, Punjab chief minister, Union cultural affairs minister and the principal secretary of cultural affairs among its members.

He said former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh was also being consulted by the state government to chalk out the modalities and action program for these celebrations.

Giving details of the schedule, the CM said the state government would initiate development works at the historical places associated with the life of the first Sikh master in the second week of November this year, adding that Punjab has sought a special package of ₹2,145 crore from Centre for it.

The projects envisaged by the state government include setting up of a National Institute of Interfaith Studies at Amritsar and a ₹500 crore 500-bedded super specialty hospital at Gurdaspur in the name of Guru Nanak. The government will also establish a Heritage Village-Pind Babe Nanak Da at Sultanpur Lodhi at a cost of ₹200 crore.

The CM said the state government has constituted a three-member committee, headed by the vice-chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, with the head of the university’s history department and a representative of the SGPC as its members, to suggest to the government the roads traversed by Guru Nanak Dev, so that those can be named after him.

PWD minister Vijay Inder Singla reviewed the preparation work to mark the state-level function at Sultanpur Lodhi. He directed the PWD officials and engineers to ensure the timely completion of all works.

First Published: Sep 10, 2018 21:10 IST