Kashmiris welcome goodwill measures between India and Pakistan, says Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

Navjot Singh Sidhu addresses the groundbreaking ceremony for the Kartarpur Corridor in Kartarpur Pakistan

The proposal to construct the corridor, providing visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims, was renewed by Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in August this year while talking to Congress leader and Indian Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, during the latter's visit to Pakistan in August for attending Prime Minister Imran Khan's oath-taking ceremony.

As part of the Indian delegation that arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday to attend the ceremony, Navjot Singh Sidhu, former Indian cricket player turned minister, was greeted by Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar at Governor House Lahore.

He said Pakistan and India can not understand the opportunities God has given to them.

Next year, we will provide all the possible facilities for you, he said.

At Wednesday's event, it was Prime Minister Imran Khan's turn to eulogise his friend Sidhu who has fiercely supported calls for encouraging talks between the two countries. While speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader also stressed on the efforts made by Sidhu in the opening of the corridor and hoped for everlasting friendship between India and Pakistan.

Khan also said the two countries should forget the past and move forward. He can come and contest election here in Pakistan's Punjab, he'll win.

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The prime minister said ties between the two countries in the last seventy years require retrospection and read a Punjabi verse of poet Muneer Niazi, saying both the sides have erred in the past.

Imran Khan said India and Pakistan need more steps like this (Kartarpur Corridor) for peace in the South Asian region. "This is also reflective of the importance and primacy that Pakistan gives to all minorities", said the statement released by the Pakistan Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The comments came hours after Prime Minister Imran Khan, laid the foundation stone for Kartarpur border corridor that connects India's Gurdaspur district to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib located in Pakistan. Corridors & Gates are for legal peaceful visitors. The past teaches us that we must move forward. "It'd madness to think of war between two nuclear states because there is no victor in a nuclear conflict", he said, adding that the only option left is to have peace and friendship.

The development comes ahead of Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary next year. But a terrorist attack on an Indian military installation in September 2016 that Delhi blamed on what it said were Pakistan-linked terrorists overshadowed these efforts. The Kartarpur corridor aims to ease travel for Indian pilgrims visiting one of the holiest sites of the Sikh faith in Pakistan.

An emotional Kaur said the corridor will bring joy and peace to both countries.

Sikhs from India have traveled to Pakistan to pay homage at the shrine for years but the trip is a hard one to make due to a contentious relationship and security concerns.

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