Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced to invite India’s former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for Kartrpur Corridor’s inauguration, which is scheduled to open in November.
“Kartarpur corridor is an important project, the prime minister has a personal interest in it,” said Qureshi in a video message.
“After consultations, Pakistan has decided to invite Manmohan Singh to the inauguration, who we hold in high regard. He will represent the Sikh community.”
FM also extended an invitation to Sikh pilgrims in the message. Adding that, “We also await the Sikh yatris to come and take part in the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak
“On behalf of the government, as the foreign minister of Pakistan, I invite him to attend the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor,” said Qureshi, adding that the government also intends to send Singh a formal written invitation. Qureshi added that since the former minister is respected in Pakistan, that is why Pakistan intends to welcome Manmohan Singh.
Foreign Minister also extended an invitation to Sikh pilgrims in the message. Adding that, “We also await the Sikh yatris to come and take part in the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.”
Pakistan is set to inaugurate the Katarpur Corridor on Nov 9th ahead of Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary on Nov 12th, anticipating enormous Sikh pilgrims visiting Pakistan on the occasion.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi: We would like to extend an invitation to former Indian PM Manmohan Singh for the inauguration function of Kartarpur Corridor. He also represents the Sikh community. We will also send him a formal invitation. (ANI) pic.twitter.com/rXM1yIE5H3
— Janta Ka Reporter (@JantaKaReporter) September 30, 2019
Kartarpur Corridor is being built by Pakistan and India to connect to Darbar Sahib – the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev – in Pakistan’s Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab.
This is the visa-free terminal from which the Sikh pilgrims can visit Kartarpur by obtaining a permit. The distance between the temple and Gurdaspur is merely three kilometers but the closure of this crossing forces Sikh pilgrims from India to travel hundreds of kilometers, via Amritsar and Lahore, to reach here.
The project is completed at a fast pace, remaining unaffected by the recent escalation between India and Pakistan following the abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A in Kashmir-a major blow to the strained diplomatic relations between the two countries. Both the countries agree to continue the project even after the Pulwama attack, despite the heightened hostilities.
The decision of Pakistan to invite Manmohan Singh might offend the BJP-led Indian government since Manmohan Singh hails from the arch-rival Congress Party.