Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday announced that Pakistan has decided to extend an invitation to former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh for the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor, which is scheduled to be opened in November.
FM Qureshi, in a video message, said, “Kartarpur corridor is an important project, the prime minister 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.
“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.
The foreign minister also invited Sikh yatris in his message, saying: “We also await the Sikh yatris […] to come and take part in the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.”
Earlier this month, Pakistani project director Atif Majeed said the visa-free border crossing from India to Kartarpur, Pakistan, would be inaugurated on Nov 9, just ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Baba Guru Nanak on Nov 12.
It was also announced that Pakistan has agreed to allow 5,000 Sikh pilgrims from India to visit on a daily basis the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal through the Kartarpur corridor.
Pakistan has kept the corridor project distinct from the recent strains with India over repealing of Article 370, subsequent brutal actions in occupied Kashmir and intensified ceasefire violations on the Line of Control. The project had also remained unaffected by the previous episode of intensification between the two sides following the Pulwama attack in February.