Chandigarh [India], December 19 (ANI): Former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has requested the External Affairs Ministry to facilitate reopening of Kartarpur corridor at the earliest, saying Sikhs across the world are pained at being not able to visit the last resting place of Guru Nanak Dev on his 551st Parkash Parab last month.
Badal raised the issue on Friday at a meeting of the Committee of External Affairs, of which she is a member.
She said that she failed to get a satisfactory response from the Ministry of External Affairs as to why the corridor was still closed. "External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar should intervene and take up the issue with the Lands Port Authority of India to get the corridor reopened at the earliest," she said.
She added, "I am of the firm view that if the entire country can open up and even Assembly elections can take place, there is no reason why the Kartarpur corridor cannot be reopened. The Pakistan government has opened the corridor for travel nearly two months back. India should follow suit after instituting needed health protocols keeping in mind the fact that the corridor was closed temporarily on March 16 on account of the COVID-19 pandemic."
The Bathinda MP said that it has been months since pilgrimage sites across the world as well as the country, which had been partially or fully closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had been reopened.
She said that there was an overwhelming sentiment in the Sikh community that the corridor be reopened so that devotees could pay obeisance at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib as well as visit the hallowed area where Guru Nanak Dev made a living by practising agriculture for 18 years.
"Sikhs were hopeful that the corridor would be reopened before the 550th Parkash Parab of Sri Guru Nanak Dev on November 30 but their hopes were dashed. The community is both surprised and hurt as to why the Union government is not opening a corridor, which is a symbol of universal peace and brotherhood and denied it a chance to commemorate the 551st birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev at Kartarpur Sahib," she added. (ANI)