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Navjot Singh Sidhu Gets Political Clearance to Attend Kartarpur Corridor Opening Ceremony in Pakistan

The permission comes hours after the former cricketer wrote a third letter to the central government, seeking clearance to attend the event.


Updated:November 7, 2019, 11:36 PM IST
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Navjot Singh Sidhu
File photo of Navjot Singh Sidhu. (Picture courtesy: Twitter)

New Delhi: The Indian government on Thursday allowed former Punjab Minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu to attend the opening ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan on November 9.

Sidhu had sought political clearance from the government to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor on Saturday following an invite by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The clearance comes hours after the former cricketer wrote a third letter to the central government, seeking clearance to attend the event.

In his letter, the Congress leader said that if he receives no response to the latest letter--the third one written by him--he will go to the shrine across the border like "any other pilgrim".

In the latest letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, the cricketer-turned-politician also expressed his anguish over "not receiving any response to his communication".

In Islamabad, the Pakistan Foreign Office said that the cricketer-turned politician has been issued a visa to attend the Kartarpur Corridor inauguration ceremony.

The corridor is scheduled to be inaugurated on Saturday on both the Indian and Pakistani sides. The corridor will link Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Narowal district to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur in Punjab.

A 550-member Indian delegation, comprising former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Union ministers Hardeep Singh Puri and Harsimrat Kaur Badal, a number of lawmakers and eminent citizens, will visit the shrine using the corridor on Saturday.

Earlier at a press conference, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar did not answer to questions on Sidhu's three letters to the ministry seeking political clearance to visit Gurudwara Darbar Sahib and attend the inauguration ceremony of the corridor.

"On the issue of a particular person going or not, or the specific travel plan of that person, I don't think, considering the magnitude of the occasion, it would be appropriate that we comment on whether a particular individual can go or not," Kumar said.

Sidhu had attended the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan last year.

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