Prime Minister Imran Khan while speaking at the opening of the ceremony of Dera Baba Nanak-Kartarpur Sahib corridor in Kartarpur said Pakistan wants a “strong” and “civilised” relationship with India and the two countries can resolve all issues, including Kashmir .
The corridor inks Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur — the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev — to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district, India to facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims. Union Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri represented India at the event. Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu also attended the ceremony.
Khan also said the two countries should forget the past and move forward. “Past teaches us that we need to keep moving forward”. “If France and Germany can be part of a union and move forward, why can’t we?” Khan said while addressing the gathering.
However, Khan’s reference on Kashmir did not go down well with India . The MEA reacted to the statement on Kashmir.
“Deeply regrettable that the Pakistan PM chose to politicise the pious occasion meant to realise the long pending demand of Sikh community to develop Kartarpur Corridor by making unwarranted reference to J&K which is integral and inalienable part of India,” the ministry of external affairs said in a statement.
“Pakistan is reminded that it must fulfill its international obligations and take effective and credible action to stop providing shelter and all kind of support to cross border terrorism from territories under its control,” it added.
Towards the end of his speech Imran slammed the criticism on Navjot Singh Sidhu when he went to Pakistan last time. “I don’t know why Sidhu was criticised (in India). He was just talking about peace. He can come and contest election here in Pakistan. He will win. I hope we don’t have to wait for Sidhu to become Indian PM for everlasting friendship between our nations,” Khan said.