Pakistan today said it would invite former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor, which will facilitate the movement of Indian pilgrims to Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Guru Nanak across the border. Manmohan Singh is unlikely to attend the event, the Press Trust of India quoted sources as saying.
"The Kartarpur corridor inauguration is a big programme and Pakistan is preparing for it in a big way. We have decided to invite India's former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to grace the event. He represents the Sikh community. We will send a formal letter to him soon," Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a video message reported by news agency ANI.
"We are also very happy to receive the Sikh pilgrims who are coming to Kartarpur to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak," he said.
The Kartarpur Sahib Corridor is scheduled to open on November 9, days before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru. Dr Singh, who was Prime Minister of India between 2004 and 2014, has "not even visited Pakistan during his 10-year tenure and was unlikely to do so now, PTI quoted sources as saying.
The Kartarpur corridor is being built by India and Pakistan in Pakistan's Kartarpur and connects to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab. The corridor aims at facilitating visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims who will just need a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib located across the Ravi river, about 4 km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.