Pak Minister stokes row on Kartarpur, Akali Dal hits back

Dec 1, 2019
New Delhi: The statement by motormouth Pakistan Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid that the “opening up of Kartarpur Corridor would hurt India forever” has evoked much anger with the Akali Dal warning Pakistan over its nefarious designs.

Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Badal on Sunday slammed Sheikh Rashid for his provocative statement, saying that the Kartarpur Corridor is deeply connected to the Sikh faith but no Sikh will shy away if there is a misadventure by Pakistan.

Rashid had remarked that the opening of Kartarpur corridor was the brainchild of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and “it would hurt India forever”.

By giving credit to the Army Chief, Sheikh Rashid contradicted his own government’s assertion that the initiative was that of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“I strongly condemn the statement of Pak railway minister @ShkhRashid. The opening of #KartarpurCorridor is realization of Sikhs’ dreams & something that is deeply connected to our faith. But no Sikh will shy away from his responsibility if there’s any misadventure by Pakistan,” Badal said in a tweet.

Akali Dal’s Delhi MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa said if this is true, Pakistan has backstabbed the Sikhs again. He said this time the Sikhs will not forgive Pakistan for exploiting the holy Kartarpur Sahib and sentiments of Sikh community.

“God forbid this should ever be true! This statement of @ShkhRasheed means that Sikhs have been backstabbed by Pak, once again And this time we won’t forgive our neighbours for exploiting the holiest land Sri Kartarpur Sahib & Sikh sentiments,” he said in a tweet.

Sirsa has asked Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to clarify on his minister’s statement and take action against Rashid if he was just bragging.

“I urge PM @ImranKhanPTI to issue a statement clarifying the intention of @ShkhRasheed words And if Rashid’s statement is just a brag, PM Imran Khan should take strict action against his motormouth Minister for hurting Sikh faith with his insensitivity,” he said.

Sirsa on Sunday carried out a campaign to blacken the signboard of Aurangzeb Lane in the city. In a tweet in Hindi, he asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to change the name since Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was responsible for cruelty to and religious conversion of lakhs of Hindus. IANS