Armed with Sushma Swaraj’s letter, Harsimrat Kaur Badal trashes Navjot Singh Sidhu’s claim on Kartarpur Sahib corridor

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Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Tuesday slammed Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for his claim that Pakistan was willing to open the Kartarpur Sahib corridor. Trashing Sidhus claim, Badal said Pakistan authorities never communicated with Indias on the issue of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor. Her response was based on a letter by the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who stated that the Indian government has been taking up the corridor issue with Pakistan but Islamabad has not communicated yet on the matter. In the letter addressed to Union Minister Badal, Swaraj had said: Dear I received your letter of 13 September 2018 regarding facilitating visits of the Indian pilgrims, including through a corridor, to the holy Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib located in Pakistan. The Government has been taking up the matter with Pakistan. However, Pakistan has so far neither agreed to include visits to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib by the Indian pilgrims under the bilateral Protocol on visits to religious shrines of 1974 nor has it sent any official communication for establishing a corridor. Kartarpur corridor is an emotional issue for Sikhs. We pray each day to be able to have open darshan of the Gurdwara which remains across the fence. Several of us, including me, have been pursuing with the government to have this corridor opened. pic.twitter.com\/zTkVr2Q83Z The Punjab minister had made this statement after he returned from Pakistan where he had gone to attend Imran Khans swearing-in-ceremony. However, this became an issue after Siddhu on Monday met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and urged her to send a formal request to Pakistan. After meeting the External Minister, Sidhu in a press conference in Chandigarh said: A formal request should go from India The Punjab Ministers move did not go down well with Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal who in a barrage of tweets said: Kartarpur corridor is an emotional issue for Sikhs. We pray each day to be able to have open darshan of the Gurdwara which remains across the fence. Several of us, including me, have been pursuing with the government to have this corridor opened. But shockingly, Navjot Singh Sidhu gave the impression to everyone that it is he who has got it opened with the Pakistani government. I wonder why he made an unannounced visit to Sushma Ji Badal further said that Swaraj reprimanded Siddhu for misusing his personal visit clearance and lowering the reputation of India as well as causing a diplomatic faux pas. She was referring to Sidhus visit to Pakistan where he hugged Pakistan army chief Qamar Bajwa He (Sidhu) was clearly told that the matter was already being pursued by me that he had no business of making false claims, Badal said in a tweet. In a press briefing in Delhi on Tuesday, Badal said that Sidhu was a new agent that Pakistan has found and they are using him as a puppet. He is such a close friend (of Imran Khan) that out of the entire cricket team only Navjot Sidhu was invited. Let him produce a letter from the PM granting this. The moment that letter is produced, within 24 hrs, Ill have the corridor put up by my government, she said. Situated along the India-Pakistan border, the Kartarpur Sahib is a historic site where Guru Nanak died in 1539. It is barely three kilometres away from Gurdaspur, Punjab. The government from time to time has received requests including from Punjab government for the creation of a land corridor linking Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. The Indian government The government raised the matter with Pakistan of expanding the list of Shrines included in the 1974 Protocol on visits to Religious Shrines. However, there has been no response on this from Islamabad. Explaining her communication with the External Minister, Harsimrat Badal on Tuesday referred to this protocol and said: There is a protocol from 1974 which allows pilgrims to visit the gurudwara, but they haven