Dera Baba Nanak (Punjab): Congress leader and former Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday paid obeisance at the historic Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan.
He was among the first all-party delegation of 500 pilgrims from India which reached Pakistan’s Kartarpur to pay obeisance at the shrine of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, after the opening of the historic corridor between the two countries.
Highly revered, first Sikh master Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th Prakash Purb (birth anniversary) falls on November 12.
Sidhu, who was missing from the public glare for over three months after a ‘bitter dispute’ with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, gave the credit for opening the corridor, the first-of its-kind historic occasion between the two nations in seven decades, to the Almighty.
“It was the Almighty who was behind the opening of the corridor,” he told the gathering.
Without mincing words, the cricketer-turned-politician said he does not get along with those who “challenge my character”.
Sidhu said after resigning from the state cabinet on July 15, he was meditating daily for 15 to 17 hours and had lost 25 kg.
“All my old clothes fit me,” he said jokingly.
“Had the Ministry of External Affairs not allowed me to visit Kartarpur, I would have gone there with my wife five days later,” he said.
Earlier, Sidhu was allowed by the Indian government to accompany the all-party “jatha” that travelled to Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan via the Kartarpur Corridor.
The Ministry of External Affairs had, however, denied Sidhu the permission to travel to Pakistan via Wagah.
Pakistan had extended Sidhu the first invitation for the event and had even offered him a visa.
The first “jatha” travelled to Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, a holy shrine of the Sikh religious community in Pakistan, using the corridor that was thrown open for the first time earlier in the day by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, also known as Darbar Sahib Gurdwara, is believed to have been built on the site where Guru Nanak died in the 16th century. It is linked with the 4.2 km-long Kartarpur Corridor.