Tribune News Service
Dera Baba Nanak, May 2
The parliamentary standing committee on external affairs on Tuesday ruled out construction of a corridor linking India with the historical Kartarpur Sahib shrine in Pakistan.
The committee, comprising of seven MPs, today visited Dera Baba Nanak from where the gurdwara is visible.
The delegation was here on an invite from Amritsar MP Gurjit Singh Aujla and Dera Baba Nanak MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.
The committee chairman Shashi Tharoor, former Minister of State for External Affairs, said the current political climate was not at all conducive for constructing such a passage.
“No doubt we have been flooded with requests to establish such a link which will not only boost religious-tourism in the area but will also prove to be beneficial to pilgrims desirous of visiting the shrine.
"However, under the current political scenario, where Pakistani agencies are regularly beheading Indian soldiers, we can not even think of taking such an initiative. I know that the distance will be considerably reduced but the condition should first be conducive,” he said.
MLA Randhawa impressed upon Tharoor the historical and political significance of the link.
“A proposal was mooted in 1999 to construct a bridge over the Ravi river which would have been a part of the corridor. During my tenure as minister I did my best to ensure that Pakistan got land in lieu of India acquiring land on the Pakistani side leading to the shrine. However, due to security concerns the idea was shelved.
“I will talk to the government again but only when the situation is normal,” said Tharoor.
Tharoor said on Randhawa’s request, he would ensure that four high-resolution telescopes are installed at Dera Baba Nanak through which pilgrims could view the shrine from the 3 km distance separating the Indian border and the gurdwara.
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