The Indian government gave cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu cold shoulder over his request to attend the inauguration of the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan.
The Indian lawmaker from Congress party had been awaiting a response from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs but the response was nothing short of a let down.
The Indian foreign Ministry, in its belated response, said that it cannot focus on individual travellers in the current situation, according to an NDTV report.
According to the publication, Indian External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar commented about Sidhu: “He can do whatever he wants. I have already said that this is a big occasion, and we cannot focus on an individual traveller’s plans to go to Kartarpur. I would not like to comment on that in this forum.”
With barely two days left to the opening of the corridor, built for Indian Sikh pilgrims traveling to the holy Gurdwara Darbar Sahib temple from a visa-free border crossing, Sidhu wrote to Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar for the third time on Thursday, requesting permission to visit Pakistan.
Pakistan had issued visa to Navjot Singh Sidhu for Kartarpur Corridor inauguration
“Despite repeated reminders you have not responded to whether or not the government has granted me permission to go to Pakistan for inauguration ceremony of Gurdwara Darbar Sahid Kartarpur Corridor. The delay and no response is a hindrance to my future course of action,” the former cricketer wrote in his letter to the Indian foreign minister.
“I categorically state that if the government has any inhibitions and say no then, as a law abiding citizen, I 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,” he added.
The Times of India tweeted a copy of Sidhu’s letter to Jaishankar.
The historic inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor is set to take place on Saturday, November 9, just ahead of the 550th birthday of Sikhism founder Baba Guru Nanak on Nov 12.
The Foreign Office confirmed on Thursday that Pakistan has already issued a visa to Sidhu to attend the inauguration ceremony.