Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh Sunday said that Pakistan Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid’s disclosure that Kartarpur Corridor was the “brainchild” of their Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa and that it will “hurt India forever” exposes Islamabad’s nefarious intent behind the initiative.
Expressing serious concern over Rashid’s admission, Amarinder said that Rashid, while justifying his stance on the issue, he completely exposed the wicked design of Pakistan behind the Corridor, which India had hoped would emerge as a bridge of peace between the two nations.
Amarinder also took a strong exception to Rashid’s “Corridor would hurt India forever” remark, saying that it is an “open and blatant threat” against India’s security and integrity. He also warned Pakistan to not attempt or indulge in any misadventure against India.
“Don’t make the mistake reading weakness in our gratitude for opening the Corridor,” Singh said in a statement, asserting that India would give “befitting response” to any bid by Pakistan if it attacks its border or people. He also said that any such attempt by Islamabad will meet “retaliation of the kind” that Pakistan would never be able to survive.
Amarinder’s remarks came a day after Rashid, a close aide of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, told reporters in Lahore that the opening of Kartarpur Corridor was the brainchild of Army chief General Bajwa and asserted that it will hurt India forever.
“India will remember forever the kind of wound inflicted on it by Gen Bajwa by opening the Kartarpur corridor. General Bajwa strongly hit India by opening the corridor. Through this project, Pakistan has created a new environment of peace and won itself love of the Sikh community,” Rashid had said.
Amarinder urges Sidhu to be cautious
The Punjab chief minister recalled that he had all along maintained that while he was extremely happy, as a Sikh, at the opening of the Corridor to enable access to Indian devotees to Kartarpur Gurdwara, “the threat it posed to our country could not be ignored”.
“This had been quite evident from various facts, most notably that Bajwa had disclosed the Pakistani decision to build the Corridor to then Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu at the time of Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony,” he said.
“Imran had not even taken over then, yet their Army chief had spoken about this to Sidhu. How was it possible unless Bajwa was the one behind the Corridor decision,” asked Singh while urging Sidhu to be cautious and not let his personal friendship with Khan cloud his judgment.
Sidhu, who has been at loggerheads with the chief minister, had also come under fire from political parties after he hugged Gen Bajwa during the swearing-in ceremony of Khan in August last year.
The four-kilometre corridor, which links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur to the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Indian Punjab’s Gurdaspur district, was thrown open on November 9.