PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist(PTI7_18_2016_000109B)
PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist(PTI7_18_2016_000109B)

New Delhi: Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu is unlikely to travel to Kartarpur in Pakistan via corridor along with the first 'jatha' that will be visiting the neighbouring country for its inauguration, sources said.

First 'jatha' travelling to Kartarpur via corridor requires political clearance. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had on Monday sent a formal invitation to Sidhu for the inaugural ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9.

A letter dated November 4 sent by Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan Syed Haider Shah and addressed to Sidhu, read, "Enclosed please find an invitation for Navjot Singh Sidhu from Imran Khan, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for the inauguration ceremony of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur corridor, Narowal, Pakistan, on Saturday, 9 November 2019."

Sidhu, who has expressed his willingness to attend the inaugural ceremony, had written to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday, requesting permission to visit Pakistan for the same.

"It is brought to your kind notice that I have been invited by the Pakistan government for the opening ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor on November 9, 2019. 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," he had said.

"Therefore, I may be permitted to visit Pakistan for this auspicious occasion," he had added.

The Kartarpur Corridor will connect Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab's Gurdaspur district with Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the corridor from the Indian side while Imran Khan will open the route on the other side.

India and Pakistan had on October 24 signed an agreement on the modalities for operationalising Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, paving the way for its inauguration ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of the Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.

The corridor will facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev.

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Free Press Journal