New Delhi: Hours after Pakistan extended an invitation to Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Karatarpura corridor, the latter said that due to her prior election commitments in Telangana, she would not be able to attend the event.
However, Swaraj said that Union Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri will be representing the government of India in the ceremony.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan had invited External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to visit the country to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi shared the invitation information on the micro-blogging site.
Qureshi had tweeted, “On behalf of Pakistan I have extended an invitation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj @SushmaSwaraj, Capt Amarinder Singh @capt_amarinder & Navjot Singh Sidhu @sherryontopp to attend the groundbreaking ceremony at #Kartarpura on 28 Nov 2018.”
Earlier, Pakistan had invited Punjab cabinet minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday for the ceremony. Earlier, Pakistan had invited Punjab cabinet minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday for the ceremony. “I don’t have words to express my joy. My friend (Imran Khan) has invited me and I will surely go. Baba Nanak is helping the two nations come together. The prayers of crores of people have come true,” Sidhu had said.
The invitation comes after both the countries agreed to open the corridor for the Sikh devotees for Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary. This will be Sidhu’s second visit to the neighbouring country this year.
The issue of Kartarpur Sahib came into focus after Sidhu visited Pakistan in August to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Khan as prime minister of that country. After his return, the cricketer-turned-politician had said that Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa assured him that Pakistan may open a corridor to Kartarpur Sahib.
On Thursday, in a significant decision, Narendra Modi-led government cleared a proposal to develop a corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district to the International Border to facilitate Indian pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan.