New Delhi: Hours after reports surfaced that former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has accepted Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s invitation and agreed to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan for the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, the Punjab CM on Thurday clarified that there is no question od him going for the inaugural function. He also felt that Manmohan Singh will not go there as well.
“There is no question of me going (to Pakistan for Kartarpur corridor opening) and I feel Dr Manmohan Singh will not go as well,” he later clarified, pointing out that there was a huge difference between visiting Pakistan and going to the historic gurdwara through the corridor.
Earlier in the day, the announcement was made his media advisor Raveen Thakral, which read as “Former PM Dr Manmohan Singh accepts @capt_amarinder’s invite to join 1st Jatha to Sri Kartarpur Gurdwara on Nov 9, will also attend Sultanpur Lodhi main event @550yrsGuruNanak.”
The earlier reports further stated that Amarinder Singh had personally visited Manmohan Singh at his residence in Delhi and asked him to attend the first all-party jatha (a march organised by armed Sikhs) to Kartarpur Sahib for the inauguration of the cross-border corridor next month.
The Chief Minister’s remarks came after a number of media reports suggested that Manmohan Singh had accepted Pakistan’s invite and would be going across the border for the Kartarpur corridor inauguration.
The fact was that Manmohan Singh had accepted Amarinder Singh’s invitation to join the ‘jatha’, to be led by the Chief Minister, through the Kartarpur corridor, to pay obeisance at the gurdwara across the border on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, an official spokesperson was quoted as saying by IANS.
The Chief Minister’s Office also clarified that there is no need of any Pakistan Visa to visit Nankana Sahib there. “The delegation was going as pilgrims to offer their prayers (Ardas) there,” the CMO said.
So far as going to Pakistan is concerned, the CM made it clear that he would not go there till Pakistan stops cross-border terrorism. Saying that Punjab was the worst sufferer of Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism, the CM said he cannot think of going there till it stops terror activities of all kinds.
The Chief Minister had, earlier in the day, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and extended a formal invitation to participate in the main events organised by the state government to mark the historic occasion.