Islamabad, Sept 9: Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday wrote to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, seeking talks with Pakistan for the opening up of the inter-border corridor which will connect Gurdaspur to Kartarpur, a holy site for Sikhs.
Sidhu, in his letter, said Pakistan has taken a step forward by offering visa-free access to Indian pilgrims. "Now an opportunity has knocked on our doors. Pakistan has shown a positive intent towards the long pending demand of Kartarpur Sahib corridor," he said, adding that visa-free access to Kartarpur has been a dream for Indian Sikhs for the last 70 years.
Following Sihdu's visit to Islamabad last month to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Pakistani government has indicated its willingness to open up the Kartarpur route in November -- on the occasion of Guru Nan Dev's 550th birth anniversary.
The recent reiteration came from Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who claimed that the government is contemplating over visa-free access to Sikhs from India visiting Kartarpur. Chaudhry, while speaking to BBC Urdu, said a roadway ticket will be issued to the pilgrims for the route which will connect them directly to the Kartarpur shrine from the Gurdaspur border. The two stops are located at a miniscule gap of 6-km, yet separated by the international border.