In Pakistan Sidhu wants cricket to be played between 2 countries

Former Indian cricket star Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday arrived in Pakistan to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor in Nankana Sahib.

He had been extended an invitation for the ceremony by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi last week.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will perform the groundbreaking of the corridor on Wednesday (Nov 28). The proposal to construct the corridor providing visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims was renewed by Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in August this year.

Sindhu thanked the prime minister and, while speaking to journalists upon crossing the Wagah border, said that he had brought with him “a message of love and peace”.

“Ninety per cent of people in India want bilateral cricket between the two countries,” he said while responding to a question. “Art and artists work to bridge gaps between nations,” he added.

The 4-km-long corridor will connect Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur district with Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. The corridor will provide visa-free access to the Indian Sikh pilgrims to the shrine.

Lying dormant due to the tense relations between the two countries since 1988, the proposal to construct the corridor had been renewed by Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in August this year.

The government had invited Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Indian Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu besides 17 Indian journalists to the ceremony. Swaraj and Singh both declined to attend the ceremony. Two other ministers will be attending in Swaraj’s place.

Kartarpur is located in Shakargarh in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province. It is said that Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, had spent more than 18 years of his life there. The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located on the banks of the Ravi River, about three-four kilometres from the border in Pakistan.

On Monday, Indian Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Indian Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh laid the foundation stone of the corridor in Gurdaspur.

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