26th November’2018 is marked as the foundation day of the road that will connect the border belt of Punjab’s Gurdaspur district with the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara corridor that was laid in amidst a fuelling political controversy over credit for the approval of the project.
On Monday, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Honourable Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh laid the foundation stone of the project on a screen by pressing a button.
The actual foundation stone was dislodged by the authorities just three hours prior to the beginning of the event as Punjab cabinet Minister and Dera Baba Nanak legislator Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa raised an objection to the names of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union Minister Harsimrat Badal carved on the stone.
Randhawa was disappointed with the act and even went one step ahead by saying that he would refrain from attending the stone laying ceremony. In addition to this, he applied a black tape on the stone where the names of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Punjab PWD Minister Vijay Singla and his own (Randhawa) were put.
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials anticipated that the situation might worsen in the gracious presence of the Vice President and other dignitaries. So, they replaced the foundation stone with a digital one.
The foundation on the screen consisted of the names of Vice President Naidu, Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
The road has been built to link the area with the international border (IB) near Dera Baba Nanak.
At the time of attending the event, Venkaiah Naidu addressed the gathering by stating that the Kartarpur Corridor had the potential of being a historic celebration and bring people of India and Pakistan closer to each other. Naidu asserted that the corridor project would bridge the gap between the two countries and their residents.
Guru Nanak Dev is the symbol of love and peace, and according to Gadkari, the Kartarpur corridor is a historic achievement that will help devotees offer prayers at the shrine in Pakistan.
The Punjab Chief Minister sent his gratitude to the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for converting the Kartarpur Corridor from a dream to a hardcore reality.
Punjab chief minister, Amarinder Singh, also alerted Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa that Punjab will not tolerate any faux pas in Punjab and sponsoring terrorist activities across the border is an act of pusillanimity. He even raised the alarm against the Pakistan Army Chief stating that Punjab as a state is completely capable of retaliating against a terror attack and also have the capability of lodging a befitting reply to any misadventure conducted by the neighbouring nation.
A major part of Kartarpur Corridor will be in Pakistan, extending from the IB till the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Narowal district of Pakistan.
Pakistanis have laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor on their side of the border on Wednesday, November 28.
Harsimrat Kaur and Puri accompanying Punjab cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, a friend of former Pakistan captain and current president Imran Khan, are supposed to visit Pakistan on Wednesday for the foundation stone laying ceremony there.
The governments of both India and Pakistan have announced that they will collaboratively construct the Kartarpur Corridor on their respective side to enable pilgrims from India to visit the Sikh shrine located in Pakistan. The Sikh community had previously demanded to grant them with the access of visiting the shrine.
The Kartarpur gurdwara is situated at a distance of two to three kilometre from the India-Pakistan international border, right opposite the border belt in Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district in India, the exact place where Guru Nanak Dev spent 18 years of his life till his last breath in 1539.
The gurdwara became a part of the Pakistani territory following the partition of India in August 1947, that evoked enormous significance in Sikh religion and history. Since the years of separation, Sikhs have been witnessed to offer prayers near the IB watching the gurdwara from a remote distance.