Manmohan Singh accepts Amarinder Singh invite to travel to Kartarpur Sahib

Ex-PM Manmohan Singh has accepted the invite to join all party team to visit Kartarpur Sahib next month, the Punjab government said on Thursday.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has accepted an invitation from Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to join a special all party jatha that will travel to Kartarpur Sahib next month, the Punjab government announced on Thursday. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will lead the group that will participate in the main event.

Dr Singh’s acceptance of the Punjab chief minister’s invitation comes days after Pakistan went public with its decision to ask the former prime minister to join them at the celebrations planned to attend the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev ji. It is not clear if Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan government ever sent across a formal invite.

Congress leaders had indicated that it was unlikely that the former prime minister would rush to accept Pakistan’s invite.

The invitation to be part of an all party jatha is seen to have made that decision much easier. Dr Manmohan Singh had never visited Pakistan when he was the prime minister though he did come close to making the visit when the two countries were working on a plan to resolve differences over the Kashmir issue in 2005-06.

At his meetings with President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Punjab Chief Minister also invited them to the events planned on the Indian side. Captain Amarinder Singh also requested PM Modi for his help in getting the political clearance to let the special all party jatha travel to Sri Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of the first Guru, now in Pakistan, on the historic occasion.

Captain Amarinder later told reporters that President Kovind and PM MOdi had accepted the state government’s invitation to be a part of the historic celebrations and modalities for their visit would be finalized after the Kartarpur Corridor opening programme is frozen with Pakistan.

The release from Punjab chief minister’s office also said Amarinder Singh has invited President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary celebrations, including the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor.

They have accepted the state government’s invitation and “modalities for their visit would be finalized after the Kartarpur Corridor opening programme is frozen with Pakistan”.

An official spokesperson said the detailed official programme of events had been shared with the President Kovind and Prime Minister Modi. They had been requested by Amarinder Singh “to attend as per their convenience”.

“However, the Chief Minister had urged them both to, in particular, participate in the Kartarpur Corridor opening at Dera Baba Nanak and the November 12 main programme at Sultanpur Lodhi,” the release said.

The work on the four-lane highway, a bridge and a passenger terminal as part of the Kartarpur corridor, from Dera Baba Nanak Sahib to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, is in full swing on the Indian side, with Pakistan too recently announcing that it would complete work on its part of the corridor in October.

Source: Hindustan Times

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