Former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal requested the External Affairs ministry to facilitate reopening of the Kartarpur Corridor at the earliest, saying Sikhs across the world were pained at being unable to visit the last resting place of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji on Guru Sahab’s 551st Parkash Purb last month.
Mrs. Harsimrat Badal, who raised the issue at the meeting of the Committee of External Affairs of which she is a member yesterday, said she failed to get a satisfactory response from the MEA as to why the Corridor was still closed.
“Keeping this in view External Affairs ministers Dr. S Jaishankar should intervene and take up the issue with the Lands Port Authority of India (LPAI) to get the Corridor reopened at the earliest”, she said.
Mrs. Badal said “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 view the fact that the Corridor was closed temporarily on March 16 on account of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The Bathinda MP said it was 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 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 Sahab made a living practicing agriculture for eighteen years.
“Sikhs were hopeful that the Corridor would be reopened before the 550th Parkash Purb of Guru Sahab 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 551th anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji at Sri Kartarpur Sahib” she added.