Army may not allow Kartarpur corridor over security concerns
Tribune News Service
Dera Baba Nanak, August 26
Amid the hype being created over the proposed Kartarpur Sahib corridor, an important fact being overlooked by many is that both Army and the BSF are not likely to give the green signal to the passage.
Top politicians of the area in the past have also tried to ensure the project materialises, but on all occasions their efforts have hit the Army roadblock. A senior BSF officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, claimed that it might not be possible for them to give the go-ahead due to security considerations.
Gurdaspur is home to the Tibri Cantonment while the neighbouring district of Pathankot houses one of Asia’s biggest ammunition dumps, the Mamun Cantonment and the Air Force base.
Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu may be leading the charge this time, but it was former Gurdaspur MP and Union Minister Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder who started making efforts immediately after she was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1980. She again took up the cudgels during her fourth term in 1992 and then in 2005 when she was nominated as a Rajya Sabha member.
When former MP Vinod Khanna was appointed Minister of State for External Affairs in 2004, he prepared a blueprint and handed it over to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. However, the PMO shot down his proposal after confabulations with Army commanders.
From 2009 till 2014, MP Partap Singh Bajwa took up the initiative on many occasions, both inside and outside the Parliament.
On May 2 this year, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs categorically ruled out the construction of the passage. The committee comprising seven MPs had visited Dera Baba Nanak from where the gurdwara is visible. The delegation, which was led by its chairman and former minister Shashi Tharoor, had come following an invitation extended by Amritsar MP Gurjit Singh Aujla and Dera Baba Nanak MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.
On Randhawa’s request, Tharoor had promised to get four high resolution telescopes installed at the point where the BSF has erected a platform from where people view the Nishan Sahib of the gurdwara through binoculars. Tharoor, however, failed to keep his promise following which Randhawa approached Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.
“I have taken up the issue with the Chief Minister who has assured me that four state-of-the-art telescopes will be set up before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak to be held in November next year. The proposal has been cleared,” said Randhawa.