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Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has been criticised for his visit to Pakistan for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor has now returned to India.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said said that the initiative of Prime Minister Imran Khan was widely appreciated, including by people in India.

Swaraj had decline the invitation to attend the ceremony which laid the foundation stone for the corridor project linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur to Gurdwara Dera Nanak Baba in Gurdapur.

Thousands of Sikh devotees from India visit Pakistan every year to celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will perform the groundbreaking of the corridor connecting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur area of Narowal district with Dera Baba Nanak in India's Gurdaspur District today. However, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on the cusp of general elections in India, has not responded warmly to this gesture.

Khan assured Sikh visitors from India that they will find their worship place and surrounding complex a completely developed structure equipped with all facilities and comforts when they visit Pakistan for the 550th birthday celebration of the Sikh guru. - AFP Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the groundbreaking ceremony for the Kartarpur Corridor.

Swaraj also requested in a tweet that Islamabad "expedite construction of the corridor in order to ensure that our citizens can pay their respects at the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the corridor as soon as possible".

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He said the move was an effort by the Indian government to please the Sikh community ahead of next year's general elections. It was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev who is believed to have spent 18 years here. India has always maintained that cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan is a "core concern" for it.

"But that does not mean that bilateral talks will start only on this", she said, adding terror and talks can not go together. "That is the happiness I see here", he said.

Meanwhile, The union minister Harsimrat Kaur, who also attended the ceremony attacked Sidhu on his extended love with Pakistan PM Imran Khan.

Ms. Badal was in tears as she recalled that "lakhs and crores" of Indian Sikhs who had asked for making the Kartarpur shrine accessible to them. "Its a step toward peace which our region needs", Pakistani military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor quoted him as saying. On the occasion of the corridor's inaugural ceremony, Khan said, "There have been mistakes on both sides in the past, but we will not be able to move forward until we break the chains of the past".

A few months after rejecting Pakistan's proposal to open the Kartarpur corridor, however, the government in India has now suddenly approved plans to open a visa-free corridor for Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan.

While mocking the Congress leader and Punjab Cabinet Minister, Badal stated that Sidhu has become a Pakistani agent and Congress president Rahul Gandhi should clear his stand on the issue. A day earlier, Pakistan had "invited" India for SAARC summit, a double bluff considering the fact that neither is Islamabad in a position to do so having got blacklisted by several members, nor does India, need to be invited.

Many in India construed this statement as Pakistan's desire for a change in Indian leadership.


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