India strongly protests 'harassment' of high commission officials in Pak


The corridor, once built, will give Indian pilgrims easy access to the shrine in Kartarpur. On the other hand, the government also asked the Pakistani to built the corridor on its territory to recognise the sentiments of the Sikh community.

Kartarpur Sahib is located across Ravi river in Pakistan and is about four km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.

Sidhu's visit to Pakistan to attend Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony as prime minister of Pakistan in August this year had come under fire from the Opposition for his hug to Pakistan army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa. Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism, had spent over 18 years of his life here.

A committee led by the home minister will regularly review, monitor and oversee the implementation of the activities commemorating Guru Nanak Dev's 550th birth anniversary.

The corridor's opening will form part of Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary celebrations.

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Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday welcomed the Indian cabinet's announcement to commence the construction of the Kartarpur corridor, calling it a "victory of peace".

On 9 September, Sidhu had written to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, urging her to "make every possible effort" on the corridor to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur. It said the access was denied despite the Pakistan Foreign Ministry granting them prior travel permission.

India said it expresses grave concern at reports of attempts being made during the ongoing visit of the Indian pilgrims to Pakistan, to incite communal disharmony and intolerance and promote secessionist tendencies with the objective of undermining India's sovereignty and territorial integrity. However, Shiromani Akali Dal leader and Union Minister for Food and Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal had accused Sidhu of "lying" on issues related to the Sikh faith to further his political agenda. "There is no official communique from Pakistan on this", Badal had said.

"We welcome the Sikh community to Pakistan for this auspicious occasion", the Minister added.

"This is also in breach of the letter and spirit of the 1974 Bilateral Protocol on visit to religious shrines and the Code of Conduct for the treatment of diplomatic/consular personnel in India and Pakistan, 1992,"said the government".