New Delhi: Former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh has accepted Pakistan’s invitation to the inaugural ceremony of the landmark Kartarpur Corridor, claimed Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Pakistan’s Capital TV.
“I had invited former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh. I’m thankful to him, he wrote me a letter and said, ‘I’ll come but not as chief guest but an ordinary man.’ We’ll welcome him even if he comes as an ordinary man,” stated the Foreign Minister of Pakistan as per news agency ANI.
Even after Qureshi had earlier spoken about Pakistan’s decision to invite Singh to the opening ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor, the Congress party in India remained tight-lipped. Earlier, sources had said that Manmohan Singh is unlikely to accept the invitation as he had never visited Pakistan in his 10-year tenure as India’s Prime Minister.
Earlier this month, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal had announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Dera Baba Nanak on November 8 to inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor. The union minister’s statement had come days after Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced that he will not attend Pakistan’s opening ceremony of Kartarpur corridor. “There is no question of me going (to Pakistan’s opening ceremony of Kartarpur corridor) and I feel Dr Manmohan Singh will not go as well,” Captain Amarinder was quoted by a report as saying.
About Kartarpur Corridor:
The Kartarpur corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan with the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab. After obtaining the necessary permits, Indian pilgrims can easily visit the revered Kartarpur Sahib visa-free through the Kartarpur corridor. This corridor ensures free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims. It will be opened by Pakistan for use by Indian pilgrims on November 9, ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of first Sikh guru Baba Nanak which falls on November 12.