Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal on Wednesday said there was no formal communication with India on the opening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor, GeoNews reported.
The statement came a day after Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal accused Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu of misleading people about Pakistan’s alleged assurance on allowing Sikh pilgrims direct access to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, along the India-Pakistan border, next year. The gurdwara is currently built on the site where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, died on September 22, 1539.
Sidhu was criticised for hugging Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony in August. The cricketer-turned politician had justified it, claiming Bajwa had assured him that the Kartarpur passage would be opened for pilgrims.
Badal also said on Tuesday that several days had passed but neither the Pakistani government nor Sidhu have produced any document on the matter.
Hug blown out of proportion, says Sidhu
Sidhu on Wednesday said his hug with the Pakistan Army chief has been blown out of proportion, PTI reported. A day after Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman criticised him for hugging Bajwa, Sidhu said it was just a hug and “not a Rafale deal”.
Sitharaman on Tuesday said that he could have avoided it as the gesture had “an impact” on Indian soldiers. “Sidhu has a lot of admirers...somebody of that stature going there and then hugging the chief of the Army – an Army about which in India we have very clear feelings – it certainly has an impact on soldiers,” Sitharaman said. “It demoralises the people. I wish Sidhu would have avoided it.”