Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Monday hailed the foundation stone laying of the Kartarpur corridor as the “beginning of a new chapter” in India-Pakistan ties and said it will act as a unifier to build “bridges across old chasms”.
This corridor will be a bridge between the two peoples who have so much in common, Naidu said in his address at the foundation stone-laying ceremony in Gurdaspur.
“This is a corridor that opens new doors. It is a path that opens up new possibilities. It is a unifier, building bridges across old chasms. It promotes deeper understanding and a new resolve to connect the people of our two countries through love, empathy and invisible threads of common spiritual heritage,” Naidu said.
Underlining that it was the Indian government which urged the Government of Pakistan to develop the corridor, he said Indians are happy that Pakistan has accepted their long-pending demand.
“This momentous, historic occasion has been made possible by the Government of India’s decision to build this corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to the International Corridor on our side,” he said.
He said the demand to set up a corridor had been discussed for nearly two decades now, which is getting fulfilled today.
“It is a day like no other. It is a truly path breaking, potentially transformative moment,” Naidu said. “It promises to be, in many ways, the beginning of a new chapter in our efforts to bring two family members even closer.”
This is a corridor to the shrine of peace, harmony and humanism, to the universal vision of a world as one family, to the sublime ideal of service to humanity, he added.
He, however, added that “some people” make terrorism their policy.
“India never attacked any country. We want good relations with our neighbours. It was unfortunate that some people make terrorism their policy. We cannot tolerate terrorism and killing of innocent people on our soil,” Naidu asserted.
He said India has always believed that peace was an “inexorable pre-requisite” for progress and but “we have mutual respect”.
The vice president called for a stronger focus on the “five Ps” that underpin the global agenda for sustainable development – People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership.
During his speech, Naidu invoked the first guru of Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev, many times, and said the two countries will have to create a history that will make them and the entire world a more peaceful place.