Former Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu is unlikely to receive political clearance to travel to Pakistan to participate in the inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor, people familiar with developments said on Wednesday.
Sidhu, who had raised the issue of opening a corridor for Indian pilgrims to visit Durbar Sahib gurdwara at Kartarpur during the swearing in of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan last year, has been invited to the opening of the Pakistani section of the corridor on November 9.
The people cited above said Sidhu or any other dignitary subject to obtaining political clearance for foreign travel wouldn’t need such clearance if they travelled to the gurdwara as ordinary pilgrims through the cross-border corridor on November 9.
Any dignitary travelling via the corridor after November 9 will have to obtain political clearance, they said.
The position adopted by the government suggests that Sidhu is unlikely to be granted political clearance for travelling to Pakistan on November 9.
Sidhu has requested permission from the external affairs ministry on two occasions that is on Wednesday and on Saturday to attend the inaugural ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan on Friday announced the pilgrims will not require passports to cross over to Pakistan through the Kartarpur Corridor as long as they possess valid identity cards. He also waived the $20 service fee for pilgrims.