Ahead of Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu's visit to Pakistan on Saturday for the opening ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor as the chief guest, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan mocked the leader. A video that has surfaced from the opening ceremony of Kartarpur shows Imran Khan taking a dig on Sidhu and asking "Humara woh Sidhu kidher hai" (Where is our Sidhu). His aides can be heard saying that Sidhu has been busy in his election speeches, adding that he might have gotten permission to visit Pakistan. Exposing that Imran Khan's regime is using the Congress leader as a pawn against India, one of his aides say if India does not permit him, we will "make him a hero."
Even as Imran Khan mocked him, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu attended the opening ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor on Saturday, as the chief guest in Pakistan & he heaped praises on Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Speaking at the event, Sidhu called Imran Khan, as "king of hearts" and said, "Sikandar (Alexander) won the world with fear but you won hearts all over the world." He also called Khan his 'yaar dildar'.
Congress leader Sidhu was granted conditional political clearance to travel to Pakistan's Kartarpur by the Ministry of External Affairs. According to sources, the Ministry set a condition for Sidhu to travel to Kartarpur only via the Kartarpur corridor and not via Wagah border crossing. The other condition is that Sidhu gets only a single day visit on November 9. This comes after he wrote an ultimatum letter to External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar stating if his impending permission to visit Kartarpur is not answered, he will go to Pakistan as a 'devotee'.
Sidhu in his letter to EAM Jaishankar said: "The delay and no response is a hindrance to my future course of action," he wrote in his letter. Continuing, he added, "If the govt has any inhibitions and say no, then I, as a law-abiding citizen will not go. But if you don't respond to my third letter, then I will proceed to Pakistan as millions of Sikh devotees go on eligible Visa."
Earlier on Wednesday, after being extended an official invitation from the Pakistan government to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor, Sidhu wrote to Jaishankar requesting permission to attend the inaugural ceremony. Stating that the program is "crystal clear", he had asked permission to cross over the border at 9:30 am on November 9, prior to the ceremony. He stated that he wished to meditate at the Gurudwara prior to the ceremony.
The 4.2-km long Kartarpur corridor is a border corridor between India and Pakistan that will connect the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. The inauguration will facilitate the Indian Pilgrims to visit Gurudwara Kartapur Sahib in Pakistan. Indian pilgrims of all faiths and persons of Indian origin can use the corridor and the travel will be visa-free. However, each visitor would be required to pay a fee of USD 20. India had requested Pakistan not to charge the Indian pilgrims but Pakistan refused to waive the fee. India and Pakistan signed the agreement on October 23.