Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kartarpur corridor on Wednesday that peace was possible between the two neighbours.
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. She asked Pakistan to run a rail service linking other major Sikh shrines.
“If the Berlin wall can fall, hate between India and Pakistan can be ended,” Ms. Badal said.
Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who received the most applause, said it was unfair for pilgrims to have been prevented from visiting Kartarpur.
Asked about Khan’s speech calling for India and Pakistan to seek resolutions to their problems, Puri said that it was necessary to be realistic.
“I am happy when something is grounded in positive hope. But at the same time you have to anchor this in reality, taking past experience.”
All three Indian leaders, accompanied by Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria paid their respects at the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara on Wednesday after the function and were briefed on the Pakistani government’s plans to refurbish the complex around the shrine and build facilities along the way for people moving in the corridor.
According to officials, the corridor will be “visa-free” and approximately a nominal Rs 50 would be charged to allow Indians to travel to the shrine from next November.