Sushma Swaraj declines Pak invite for Kartarpur Corridor Ceremony, two ministers to go

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said that she will not be able to visit Pakistan to attend the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims. However, two of her cabinet colleagues will attend it.India will send Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri.

“Since I am unable to travel to Kartarpur Sahib on the scheduled date, Government of India will be represented by my esteemed colleagues Mrs.Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Mr.H.S.Puri,” Swaraj tweeted.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a tweet, said he has extended an invitation to Sushma Swaraj, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and state minister Navjot Singh Sidhu to attend the ceremony at Kartarpur on November 28.

Sushma Swaraj thanked Qureshi for inviting her on the ground-breaking ceremony, “I thank HE Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi Foreign Minister of Pakistan for inviting me to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor on the Pakistan side of the International boundary on 28 November 2018,” Swaraj said.

Swaraj also tweeted that India hoped Pakistan will expedite construction of the corridor on its side so that Indian pilgrims could use it “as soon as possible”.

India and Pakistan on Thursday announced that they would create corridors on their sides of the border to facilitate visa-free visits by Indian pilgrims to Kartarpur Gurdwara, located 120 km from Lahore on the banks of the Ravi river.

Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan will inaugurate the ground-breaking ceremony of the corridor on the Pakistani side on November 28. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday hoped the Kartarpur corridor would act as a bridge between the people of India and Pakistan.