In what could be a big reason of embarrassment for Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Imran Khan government on Wednesday said there were no official talks between India and Pakistan on Sikh pilgrims’ direct access to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, along with the India-Pakistan border, in 2019.
"No formal communication with India on Kartarpur corridor. Pakistan remains open and positive: Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs," the news agency ANI reported.
No formal communication with India on Kartarpur corridor. Pakistan remains open and positive: Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs pic.twitter.com/tavL7DdRBh— ANI (@ANI) September 19, 2018
On Monday, the controversy over Katarpur corridor escalated further after cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu claimed that he met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and urged her to help initiate dialogue with Pakistan on the opening up of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor.
Briefing about the meeting with Swaraj, Sidhu said, “We had a detailed discussion during the meeting, explained to her about the necessity of opening of the Kartarpur corridor. A formal request should go from India's side. The EAM said to me, 'the draft is being prepared and I will write a letter’”.
Hours after Sidhu's statement, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Tuesday accused him of misleading people regarding the opening of Kartarpur corridor. Badal also called the Congress leader an agent of the neighbouring nation.
“I think he is a new agent that Pakistan has found and they are using him as a puppet, and he is dancing to their tune. Let him dance and deliver to our people,” Harsimrat said at a press conference on Tuesday.
The gurdwara is situated on the site where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, died on September 22, 1539.