PM Imran urges Modi to resolve Kashmir dispute through parley

Imran Khan won hearts with love: Navjot Sidhu Imran Khan won hearts with love: Navjot Sidhu Imran Khan won hearts with love: Navjot Sidhu

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Kartarpur Corridor:

PM Imran urges Modi to resolve Kashmir dispute through parley

Imran Khan won hearts with love: Navjot Sidhu

our correspondent

KARTARPUR

– Prime Minister Imran Khan urged his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to find out peaceful and negotiated settlement to the decades-long Kashmir crisis.

The Prime Minister formally inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor at a colourful ceremony on Saturday, paving the way for Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit one of their religion’s holiest sites in Pakistan without needing a visa.

While expressing his optimism for the regional peace and development, Imran Khan said that  time was not far when the subcontinent would achieve prosperity once the Kashmir issue was resolved and the Kashmiris got their due rights.

Prime Minister Imran urged his Indian counterpart to give justice to the people of occupied Kashmir, adding, “Eight million people in occupied Kashmir are being treated like animals, who have been brought under forcible rule of 900,000 Indians.”

“France and Germany had fought so many wars and killed millions of people. Look the Germany and France of today, they now trade with each other with their borders open and have prosperity. No one even can think of war (there). Insha Allah when this Kashmir issue is resolved and Kashmiris get their right, the subcontinent will also see that kind of prosperity,” he added.

The Corridor would give a visa-free access to the Indian Sikhs to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, the second holiest shrine of their faith, located some 4.1 kilometers from the Indian border in Pakistan.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Interior Minister Brig (retd) Ijaz Shah, Religious Affairs Minister Pir Nurul Haq Qadri, special assistants Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Zulfiqar Bukhari , Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, and others.

The Premier, who visited the huge Kartarpur complex to review the arrangements ,also welcomed former Indian Prime Minister Sardar Manmohan Singh and his cricketer friend Navjot Singh Sidhu as they went through the immigration process at the terminal.

Bollywood actor Sunny Deol and Chief Minister of Indian Punjab Amrinder Singh were also among the prominent pilgrims in the ceremony that was also attended by hundreds of Sikh pilgrims from India and Pakistan, diplomats and media men from both sides of the border.

The prime minister, who earlier cut the ribbon to inaugurate the much-anticipated Corridor ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, appreciated the Frontier Works Organization and other government departments for completing the project in record 10 months.

To a suggestion by Sidhu to open the border, Imran Khan said that soon after assuming his office, he had offered Modi to enhance the bilateral engagement to address the regional challenges of poverty, climate change and polio, besides peacefully resolving the Kashmir dispute through dialogue.

He also recalled his interaction with Manmohan Singh in a summit in India in which the latter had also viewed that the region could prosper if the Kashmir issue was resolved.

But unfortunately, the Premier said, the Modi regime had turned the Kashmir issue from mere a territorial to a human rights one as around 900,000 Indian troops had put eight million people under siege in the Held valley.

He told the gathering that the Kashmiri people were being treated like animals and their rights were being usurped, which were guaranteed by the United Nations.

“Peace cannot be established this way. By this (issue) all of our relations are at halt,” he remarked. He said the peace could only be made by bringing justice as injustice could lead to anarchy, and urged the Modi government to liberate the Kashmiri people to let them live their own free life.

He said if the border was opened for trade, one could guess how much prosperity the region could achieve and the people get rid of poverty.

The Prime Minister said that he was pleased to see the happiness on the faces of Sikh pilgrims who had got their longstanding demand fulfilled.

He said being a mercy for the whole universe, Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had promoted the messages of humanity and justice which had been the core factors to differentiate the human societies from the jungle life.

Similarly, he said Baba Guru Nanak had also promoted humanity and unity, while opposing any social division and hatred.

He said being inspired by the peaceful teachings of great Sufi saints including Baba Farid, Nizamuddin Aulia and Moeenuddin Chuishti, people revered them and visit their shrines regularly.

The Prime Minister, who wore bandanna, a white kerchief tightly tied around the head as bare head is considered inappropriate in Sikhism, said he was pleased to have done this for the Sikh community. Before this initiative, he had never thought of such a significance of Kartarpur Gurdwara among Sikhs.

Imran Khan reiterated that the real leaders had always contributed to bring social unity and never got votes by creating hatred in the society. He said Nelson Mandela was highly revered in South Africa because he had fought for unity in the society that had been apartheid by racism and saved his country from bloodshed.

The premier said for the first time, the Sikh people would be able to come to Kartarpur and pay respect to the founder of their faith.

“I hope, this is a beginning. Insha Allah, one day, our relations with India will be as it should have been had the Kashmir issue been resolved in the beginning,” the prime minister said.

Speaking on the occasion, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the doors of Darbar Sahib Kartarpur had been opened for Sikhs of entire world so that they might come here and enjoy hospitality and love from Pakistan.

“Credit for this love and interfaith harmony goes to Prime Minister Imran Khan, who took the initiative,” he added.

The minister said the message of founder of Sikhism Baba Guru Nanak Devji was the message of humanity and peace for all.

He said now the world could see for itself who was proving to be a danger to the regional peace. “Who is sowing seeds of hatred in the region,” he added.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had made a promise one year ago with the neighbours and fulfilled his promise today by opening Kartarpur Corridor, but a promise was also made by an Indian prime minister about 72 years ago with Pakistan and Kashmir, which should now be fulfilled by implementing United Nations resolutions on Kashmir.

Novjot Singh Sidhu said that the step taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan to open the corridor will be written in history with golden words. He has won the hearts of 140 million Sikhs around the world.

He said Imran Khan has conquered the hearts of Sikh community with his love. “It is for the first time in the history after division of Sub-continent that someone has actually tried to remove barriers between Pakistan and India”, he said.

“Opening of Kartarpur Corridor is a goodwill gesture for the Sikh community whose four generations were deprived of visiting their father Baba Guru Nanak shrine which is their home. No such relief was given to the Sikh community ever in the history”, he said.

He said Alexander the Great won world with creating fear, while Imran Khan did this with love. Navjot Singh said if corridor can be opened with one hug, more issues can be resolved with more hugs. He said that he saw many politicians but never saw a brave man like Imran Khan, who has given such a great happiness to him by opening this corridor that he never imagined. “Every leader focuses on profit and loss but Imran Khan is the first lion who heard the voice of heart”.

Navjot Singh said he saw many political leaders whose hearts are like of sparrows however the heart of Imran Khan is like an ocean. He has shown the world how a true friendship is carried on. Sikh community will act as ambassadors of Imran Khan across the world and will promote soft image of Pakistan at international level, he expressed. He eulogized the personality of Prime Minister Imran Khan with rich poetry.

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