Chandigarh December 11 - Former Chief Minister Sardar Parkash Singh Badal today advised Captain Amarinder Singh to refrain from “doing or saying anything that might become a pretext for blocking the Kartarpur Sahib corridor and sabotage the fulfillment of the aspirations and prayers (Ardas) of crores of Sikhs all over the world for the past seventy years.
“ The initiative of the Government of India and the response of the Pakistan government to it are ‘a collective achievement of the entire Khalsa Panth, beyond Individual or party lines. This must be welcomed as such and no one should do or say anything that may sabotage this achievement,” said Mr Badal.
In a statement here, Mr Badal said that Captain Amrinder Singh ’s recent statements on the Kartarpur Sahib corridor were “extremely ill-advised and ill-timed. His utterances run contrary to the Sikh sentiments. I request him not to sabotage this sacred goal of the community. The Chief Minister needs to be reminded that the opening of the corridor is not a political but a deeply religious aspiration of the Khalsa Panth for which every Sikh all across the globe has been praying every day over the past 70 years. It is the culmination of their daily Ardas and of the long struggle which started with Master Tara Singh ji and in which some of the tallest Sikh leaders from to Sant Fateh Singh ji, Sant Harchand Singh ji Longowal, Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Kuldip Singh Wadala right up to the present leadership of the Shiromani Akali Dal and the entire Sikh community have contributed in a big way. Captain should not stand in the way of the fulfillment of the Sikh aspirations for free access and service of Sikh shrines from which the Khalsa Panth had been weaned away at the time of the Partition of the country ( Ohna gurdhaama de Khulle Darshan deedaare te seva sambhal jihna ton Panth nu Vichhodia gia hai),” said Mr Badal in his statement released through the party headquarters here this afternoon.
Mr Badal said that everyone who has played a role in the achievement of this goal needs to be complimented, regardless of which party he belongs to. ”It is the result of the Guru’s grace on the Ardas of the Sikh masses. While the community is thankful to the Government of India for taking the initiative in this regard and to the Government of Pakistan for responding to this initiative for opening the corridor, I must thank everyone who played a part in the achievement of this goal, regardless of the party to which he belongs. Captain Sahib should also rise above political compulsions and should wholeheartedly welcome and support the corridor initiative,” said Mr Badal.
Referring to the fears expressed by Captain Singh about the possibility of the corridor being misused by the Pakistan army and the ISI for fomenting trouble in India, especially in Punjab, Mr Badal said,”Captain Sahib is forgetting that the Punjabis in general and the Sikhs in particular are a fiercely patriotic people and are fully capable of dealing with any challenge thrown at the security, the unity and the integrity of the country. Captain Sahib, as an ex-member of the Indian army, should also know that our forces are more than a match for any evil designs against the country. The Punjab Chief Minister should leave the issue of assessing and dealing with security concerns to the Government of India, and should , as Chief Minister of Punjab, limit himself to supporting the initiative taken by India and responded to by Pakistan for opening the corridor.”