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Navjot Singh Sidhu will need to get political clearance to visit Kartarpur: Centre

New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday that Congress leader and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu will have to seek political clearance to visit Kartarpur. MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar made the statement a day after Sidhu accepted Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s invitation to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9.

When asked if the senior Congress leader is in the first list of pilgrims to go to the inaugural “jatha” to Kartarpur Gurdwara in Pakistan, Kumar said the political leaders and those invited by Pakistan government will have to seek political clearance in order to visit Pakistan.

“I think the political personalities or invitees who think they need to get a political clearance and those not included in the list will know about it. There won’t be surprises. My understanding is that the normal rules for seeking political clearance for such visits will apply,” MEA spokesperson Kumar said at a press conference.

On Thursday (October 30), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Faisal Javed had invited Sidhu to attend the inaugural ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor on behalf of Pakistan PM Imran Khan, who is also the chief of PTI. It may be recalled that Sidhu had attended PM Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony in August 2018.

The agreement on the landmark Kartarpur Corridor was signed by India and Pakistan on October 24. As per the agreement reached between the two countries, Indian pilgrims will be allowed by Pakistan to embark on a visa-free visit to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan. The iconic Gurdwara is the shrine Guru Nanak Dev, who was the founder of Sikhism.