NEW DELHI: Congress leader Najot Singh Sidhu has written to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) seeking its permission to visit Pakistan to attend the inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9. According to reports, the cricketer-turned-politician has written to the External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, in this regard.
Sources further claimed that Sidhu has also written to Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh seeking his nod to visit Pakistan to attend the Kartarpur Corridor function.
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu also writes to Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh seeking permission to visit Pakistan, for the inauguration of #KartarpurCorridor https://t.co/wU8nk5A2I4 pic.twitter.com/y0lkv7NoaE
— ANI (@ANI) November 2, 2019
It may be recalled that Pakistan PM Imran Khan's party - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) - has invited Sidhu for the inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor.
Khan's party had issued a statement in which it said, ''PTI has decided to send an invitation to Navjot Singh Sidhu for Kartarpur Corridor opening ceremony.''
On behalf of the party, Senator Faisal Javed Khan had a telephonic conversation with Navjot Singh Sidhu on the direction of PM Imran Khan and invited him to Pakistan on November 9.
Sidhu later accepted the invitation and assured that he will attend the inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9.
Interestingly, Sidhu was not included in the Congress party delegation, which is due to visit Pakistan for the opening of Kartarpur Corridor.
A seven-member Congress delegation, constituted by Sonia Gandhi, led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is due to visit the Kartarpur Sahib on November 9.
Apart from Manmohan Singh, the delegation will consist of Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, and senior leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia, RPN Singh, Randeep Surjewala, Deepender Hooda and Jitin Prasada.
Sidhu had attended the ground-breaking ceremony of Kartarpur Sahib, but he was not made part of Congress delegation.
Former Prime Minister Dr Mnmohan Singh was also reportedly invited by the Pakistan Government as 'guest' but he politely declined the invitation. Sources said that the first ‘jattha’ is likely to go on November 9.
Sidhu, a former cricketer-turned-politician, shares a very good rapport with Pakistan's PM Imran Khan and had even attended the latter's swearing-in ceremony in Islamabad.
Sidhu had courted a controversy after he was snapped with Pakistan's Army Chief General Bajwa, who is seen as the man mainly responsible for the surge in cross-border infiltration and the terror attacks in the Jammu and Kashmir.
During the event, Sidhu was also seated next to pro-Khalistani Gopal Singh Chawla and the Pakistani Army chief and was seen chatting with them.
Defending Sidhu, Khan said that the Punjab minister had come with a message of friendship and love, adding that he failed to understand the “hue and cry” over his visit. Khan had also said that Sidhu can win an election in Pakistan’s Punjab if ever he decides to contest from there.
The Kartarpur Corridor is 4.7 kilometres from the India- Pakistan border. The foundation stone was laid down in November 2018.