Sidhu said during the 15-minute meeting with Swaraj he explained to her the necessity of a corridor to the shrine in Pakistan.
Chandigarh/New Delhi: Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu drew fresh flak Tuesday on his Islamabad visit and remarks on Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara corridor, even as he claimed that India was ready to write to Pakistan seeking access for pilgrims to the Sikh shrine across the border. The Akali Dal accused him of “doing drama” over the shrine, and branded him a “traitor” for hugging Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa during his Islamabad visit last month to attend the swearing-in of Imran Khan as prime minister.
Sidhu claimed external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj gave him an assurance on a corridor to Kartarpur Sahib, just four kilometres from the Indian border, when they met on Monday.
“She heard me and told me that a draft is being prepared and she will write a letter to Pakistan government,” he claim-ed. He dismissed Union minister Harsimrat Kau-r Badal’s claim that he was reprimanded by Swaraj for meddling in what should be discussed between the two governments. When asked about it, he said, “I have nothing to say. It is not a personal matter.”
“They can abuse me as much as they want. Politics and religion should be separate,” he told reporters in Chandigarh. On his return from Islamabad, Sidhu had said he hugged the Pakistani general as he was overwhelmed when told that Islamabad was considering allowing access to Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara. Sidhu said during the 15-minute meeting with Swaraj he explained to her the necessity of a corridor to the shrine in Pakistan. “It is the responsibility of the Indian government to send a formal request,” he said.