Sushma Swaraj rebukes Navjot Singh Sidhu for ‘messing up’ Kartarpur Sahib corridor issue, hugging Pakistan Army chief

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Days after claiming that Pakistan has decided to allow Sikh pilgrims to visit the historic Kartarpur Sahib on the 550 birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, Congress leader and Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and urged her to help start a dialogue with the neighbouring side for opening up the corridor. However, Union Minister and SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal claimed that Swaraj snubbed Sidhu and reprimanded him for messing up the Kartarpur Sahib corridor issue, a report in The Indian Express said. According to Kaur, Swaraj also accused Sidhu of misusing political clearance granted to him for visiting Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the Imran Khan government. The meeting between Sidhu and Swaraj on Monday comes just days after he claimed that Pakistan has agreed to open a corridor to allow Sikh pilgrims to visit the holy site across the border. The IE report said that Sidhu was accompanied by senior Congress leader and a former Rajya Sabha MP when he met Swaraj. The Kartarpur Sahib is located in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is approximately 4 km from the international border near Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district of Indias Punjab. According to the IE report, though there was no official word from the MEA about the meeting between the two leaders, sources privy to the meeting said that Swaraj and Sidhu did discuss the Kartarpur Sahib issue. When asked about Kaurs claim that Swaraj reprimanded Sidhu for messing up the issue, they said that it is They added that Swaraj told Sidhu that his conduct during Pakistan visit was not in the line with the purpose the visit. Swaraj also told Sidhu that Kaur has already brought the issue to her notice. Terming the Kartapur Corridor issue quite sensitive, she asked him not to politicise it, the IE report said. Sourced added that New Delhi is still waiting for an official communication from Pakistan on opening a corridor to allow Sikh pilgrims to visit the shrine. After his visit to Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of his friend Imran Khan as the new premier of Pakistan, Sidhu had claimed that Islamabad was willing to open a corridor to allow Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Sahib on the 550 birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Kartarpur Sahib is built on the historic site where Guru Nanak settled after his missionary travels. There can be no bigger happiness than this for the people of Punjab, Sidhus visit to Pakistan had drawn sharp criticism in India, especially following his hug to the Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa. Sidhu, however, had later clarified that he hugged the Pakistan Army chief after learning from him that Pakistan was mulling to open a corridor to allow the visit of Sikh pilgrims to the Kartarpur Sahib.