Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday said Pakistani minister’s disclosure that the Kartarpur Corridor was the “brainchild” of their Army chief General Qamar had exposed Islamabad’s nefarious intentions. Pakistan’s Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid had said, “India will remember for ever the kind of wound inflicted on it by Gen Bajwa by opening Kartarpur corridor. Gen Bajwa strongly hit India by opening the corridor. Through this project, Pakistan has created a new environment of peace and won itself love of the Sikh community,” he said.
Singh expressed serious concern over this admission saying, Rashid had completely bared the wicked design of Pakistan behind the Corridor, which India had hoped would emerge as a bridge of peace between the countries.
The Punjab chief minister, in a statement, recalled that he had all along maintained that while he was extremely happy, as a Sikh, at the opening of the Corridor to enable access to Indian devotees to the historic Kartarpur Gurdwara across the border, the threat it posed to India could not be ignored.
The inauguration of the corridor came in the midst of frayed ties between India and Pakistan following New Delhi’s August 5 decision to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcate the State into two Union Territories.
Notwithstanding a chill in the bilateral ties over Kashmir, India and Pakistan after tough negotiations signed an agreement in October, paving the way for the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor on November 9. The agreement will allow 5,000 Indian pilgrims daily to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib where Guru Nanak spent last 18 years of his life.
In February 1999, the Kartarpur corridor was proposed by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he took a bus ride to Lahore during a peace initiative with Pakistan. It links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district.