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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Modi opens corridor, thanks Imran for move


Modi opens corridor, thanks Imran for move

Ravi Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Shikhaar Masiahan (Gurdaspur), November 9

It could not have got any bigger than this as the two warring nations finally joined hands to ensure that the 4-km-long cross-border corridor to the Kartarpur shrine, located across the wire fencing, got operational after Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally dedicated it to the public at a rally held here, 8 km away from the passage, amid the chanting of hymns. 

Later, the Prime Minister inaugurated the Integrated Check Post and flagged off the first jatha (batch) of pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

Modi said  with today’s inauguration, a seven-decade-old demand of the Sikhs now stood fulfilled. The PM was fulsome in his praise of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“Mein wazir-e-azam Imran Khan Niazi ka abhaari hun jinhone hame yeh raasta diya.” (I am indebted to PM Imran Khan for having given us this passage). After the Punjab Government cancelled its part of the festivities, apparently not wanting to send the protocol for a toss, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh joined the PM, Governor VP Singh Badnore, former CM Parkash Singh Badal, Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Puri, MPs Sunny Deol and Sukhbir Singh Badal on the dais. The stage was managed jointly by the SAD and the SGPC.

Badal said that for 18 long years, from Baisakhi 2001 till 2018, come rain, sunshine or sleet, late Akali leader Kuldeep Singh Wadala organised monthly prayer meetings at the Zero Line, urging the Almighty to pave a passage to the bordering country which would ensure that his Sikh brethren could pay obeisance at the very place where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, spent the last 18 years of his life.

Badal reminded the gathering that Wadala died in June 2018 and 17 months later the corridor sprang to life.

To commemorate his memory, the Punjab Government has named one of the roads leading to the corridor as Kuldeep Singh Wadala Marg. 

“This is a just tribute to the man who made all this possible,” said Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia.

Interestingly, Capt Amarinder stuck to his stand on the corridor, which he has been viewing with scepticism, as he warned the neighbouring country against “misusing the passage to carry out its nefarious designs.”

At one point, Badal took everybody, including the PM, by surprise when he said Punjabi farmers were suffering as they were not being paid adequate MSP for wheat and paddy.

Capt warns Pakistan 

Let me tell Pakistan that we, Punjabis, are not wearing bangles. The corridor should not be utilised by Pakistan for any other purpose other than what it is meant for Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab CM

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