Gurdaspur: At the opening of the historic Kartarpur Corridor Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan for respecting Indian sentiments, even as Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh reiterated warnings of its misuse by the neighbouring country.
“I dedicate the Kartarpur Corridor to the nation. I thank Pakistan PM Imran Khan for understanding and respecting the sentiments of our country regarding the Kartarpur Corridor and working in accordance with that feeling of respect,” said Modi.
Modi and Singh were addressing a public gathering at Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district before flagging off the first group of over 500 VIPs through the corridor.
The 6-kilometre cross-border pathway connecting Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, was simultaneously inaugurated by Khan in Pakistan.
“The opening of the corridor will facilitate pilgrims to pay obeisance at Kartarpur Sahib with great ease,” said Modi.
He also referred to the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and said the government’s decision will ensure that Sikhs in the Valley enjoy rights they are entitled to in the rest of the country.
The prime minister was honoured with the ‘Kaumi Sewa’ award by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC).
SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal also spoke about the PM’s contributions towards the Sikh community, including his intervention in cases related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and erasing the secret blacklist of Sikh foreign nationals considered to be involved in anti-India activities.
Also read: Kartarpur Corridor opens today — a timeline
Amarinder warns Pakistan
Unlike the PM who graciously thanked Pakistan for the Kartarpur Corridor, CM Singh, who had earlier expressed concern that the corridor will be misused by Pakistan to destabilise Punjab, reiterated his harsh warning to the neighbouring country.
“Pakistan should understand that we aim for peace and love and not enmity. We share a history of being together. Pakistan is surrounded by trouble on all sides. But we will not tolerate any attempt of Pakistan to do anything this side, either in Kashmir or Punjab,” said the chief minister.
“We are not wearing bangles. So, do not try anything. We will throw you out.”
He also advised the Pakistani government to focus on building roads, buildings and safe drinking water for the country’s citizens.
Amarinder cancels Punjab government rally
With the SGPC and the Punjab government sparring over holding joint celebrations at Dera Baba Nanak, during the opening of Kartarpur Corridor, Singh Saturday cancelled a rally his government had planned to hold Saturday.
He, however, accompanied the PM to a second rally that was jointly set up by the SGPC and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in collaboration with the central government. The PM later accompanied Singh to a langar (community meal) and flagged off the first jatha of over 500 VIPs to Kartarpur Sahib.
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