BJP first to reach ICP, Pak shrine, faces farmers’ protest on return

The delegation, which arrived at the Kartarpur corridor at 8am, was led by BJP state president Ashwani Sharma, who said “Baba Guru Nanak has invited us”.

In a mini scoop of sorts, the BJP became the first political party to reach Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur Thursday with a 21-member delegation reaching Dera Baba Nanak early in the morning, much before Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and his Cabinet colleagues reached there.

The delegation, which arrived at the Kartarpur corridor at 8am, was led by BJP state president Ashwani Sharma, who said “Baba Guru Nanak has invited us”.

“We will pay obeisance at Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib and pray for the prosperity and peace in Punjab and country. We are thankful to Prime minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, who have given this gift by opening the corridor before Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary. It was due to the blessings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji on PM Modi that the corridor could be constructed,” said Sharma, adding “I will not make any political statement”.

After returning, Sharma, sporting a turban, said, “Everyone should visit the Gurdwara in Pakistan”.
He refused to answer any political questions. “Whoever is called by Baba Nanak will visit him. Let’s not talk politics today. Let’s focus on this holy darshan, and let’s pray that Baba Nanak blesses the state, the country and all his followers across the world,” he said.

Meanwhile, a group of farmers reached Dera Baba Nanak and showed black flags to the BJP delegation after it returned from Kartarpur.

Government College Guest Faculty Assistant Professors Association also protested against CM Channi at Dera Baba Nanak during his visit. They are demanding permanent jobs.

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) protocol, the officials from Punjab health and family welfare department administered polio vaccine to Channi, Cabinet ministers and all the pilgrims who had crossed over to Pakistan. The neighbouring country has reported one case of wild polio virus and eight cases of vaccine derived poliovirus type 2 this year.

Dr Lakhwinder Singh Athwal, Senior Medical Officer cum Nodal Officer, Health Services, Integrated Check Post, Dera Baba Nanak, said, “As soon as we come to know about the reopening of the corridor, we restarted the polio booth at ICP on priority. We are also providing the facility of Covid-19 sampling and Covid-19 vaccine”.

“There is high possibility of transmission of polio virus through faecal-oral route. We administered polio vaccine to 86 pilgrims with an objective to prevent any such transmission,” he added.

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