Pak's Kartarpur politics! : Manmohan invited for opening event
Pakistan has decided to invite former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to attend the inaugural ceremony of the landmark Kartarpur Corridor in November, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Monday.
Islamabad : Pakistan has decided to invite former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to attend the inaugural ceremony of the landmark Kartarpur Corridor in November, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Monday.
The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims, who will only have to obtain a permit to visit the revered Kartarpur Sahib.
Pakistan is scheduled to open the Kartarpur Corridor for Indian Sikh pilgrims on November 9, days ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Baba Guru Nanak on November 12.
"The Kartarpur Corridor inauguration is a big programme and Pakistan is preparing for it in a big way," Qureshi said, noting that prime minister Imran Khan has a personal interest in it.
"After consultations, Pakistan has decided to invite Manmohan Singh to the inauguration, who we hold in high regard. He will represent the Sikh community," he said.
Pakistan has agreed to allow 5,000 Sikh pilgrims from India to visit on a daily basis to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal through the Kartarpur corridor.
"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 a formal written invitation to the 87-year-old leader.
Qureshi, while justifying the decision to invite the senior Congress Party leader, said Sikhism was Singh's religion and that he was a representative of the Sikh community.
"We are also very happy to receive the Sikh pilgrims who are coming to Kartarpur to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak," Qureshi said.
Kartarpur Corridor Project Director Atif Majid earlier this month said that 86 per cent of the work on the corridor has been completed.