My hug worked: Navjot Sidhu on Pakistan opening Kartarpur corridor

India and Pakistan have said they’ll develop a corridor to help Sikhs travel to the final resting place of Guru Nanak, their faith’s founder — a gurdwara in Kartarpur, Pakistan.

And Navjot Sidhu says this happy development is the “result” of a hug — the one he gave Pakistan’s army chief in August, when Imran Khan was being sworn in as prime minister. When he returned to India, Sidhu said General Qamar Bajwa had told him Pakistan may open the corridor to Kartarpur.

Back home, the Congressman’s “jhappi” caused quite the stir, but the consternation left him unfazed. He even promised to throw in a kiss next time if the corridor was opened.

Sambit Patra, a spokesperson for the BJP, said he was surprised Sidhu was in Bhopal rather than in the Pakistan cabinet. Instead of thanking the Indian government for its decision, Patra said, Sidhu was thanking the Pakistan army chief.

But Navjot Sidhu did say he was grateful to the government. He tweeted this yesterday.

Hug-plomatic victory or not, the creation of a corridor between Kartarpur and the Indian border district of Gurdaspur is significant — it is a long-pending demand of the Sikh community. India first proposed the idea way back in 1999, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was then prime minister, took that famous bus ride to Lahore.

“It is a step in the right direction,” said Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan’s information minister, as he welcomed India’s announcement that it would begin construction. “We hope such steps will encourage voice of reasons and tranquility on both sides of the border.”

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