Navjot Singh Sidhu given political clearance to attend Kartarpur Corridor inauguration ceremony

Manash Pratim Bhuyan

New Delhi, Nov 7 (PTI) The External Affairs Ministry on Thursday accorded political clearance to Punjab Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu to attend the inauguration ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor on the Pakistani side soon after he sent a fresh letter seeking permission to travel to the neighbouring country.

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.

Political clearance has been granted to Sidhu to travel through the Kartarpur Sahib corridor on November 9, official sources said.

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.

Earlier in the day, Sidhu wrote to the External Affairs Ministry, asking whether it had any inhibition on his attending the opening ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan. PTI MPB SMN