Told Pak Kashmir belongs to India: Harsimrat
Amritsar, November 28
Union Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri crossed the Attari-Wagah border to return to India after attending the groundbreaking ceremony of the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib corridor in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab today. The corridor will facilitate visa-free travel for Indian Sikh devotees.
Harsimrat said it was an emotional moment for her. She brought parshad and handful of mitti (clay) from the place where Guru Nanak Dev spent the later years of his life. She also performed ‘sewa’ at the holy place.
“We had no friends or relatives in Pakistan and were never invited by them. We only went to represent our country. I was fortunate to pay obeisance at this historic place for the first time only on the call given by Guru Nanak Dev,” she said.
She said she had firmly conveyed it to Pakistan that Kashmir would always be the integral part of India. “I have told their (Pakistan) media very clearly that Kashmir is a part of India and will stay that way. There is no scope of negotiation on this,” she said.
Puri said the demand for Kartarpur corridor was raised during Vajpayee’s visit to Pakistan in 1999. He said former CM Parkash Singh Badal accompanied the delegation then and the issue was raised on an official note. “The issue was discussed and passed in Parliament as a part of the Centre’s plan to celebrate 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev,” he said.
Meanwhile, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Gobind Singh Longowal appeared ignored during the programme in Pakistan. The dais was not spared for him to speak. Even during the foundation stone laying ceremony, Harsimrat performed the rituals and sprinkled the Golden Temple’s holy water on the foundation, whereas Longowal stood behind her only to assist with the requisite articles. Similar treatment was meted out to him during the programme held at Dera Baba Nanak.