Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will travel to Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak as part of an all-party group.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that Manmohan Singh has agreed to join the first Jatha or all-party group to Kartarpur Sahib and attend the mega event after the opening of the Kartarpur corridor.
Amarinder Singh had met Dr Singh in Delhi to invite him to join the delegation to the renowned Sikh shrine on the other side of the border.
Singh further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind have also accepted his invite to attend 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev.
In separate meetings with the president and the prime minister here, he urged them to join the mega celebrations to mark the auspicious occasion.
Singh said that the modalities of their visits would be chalked out after the Kartarpur Corridor opening programme was finalised with Pakistan.
The ‘jatha’ will be led by the Chief Minister himself.
Pakistan had on Monday extended an invitation to former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for the inauguration function of Kartarpur corridor on November 9.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said since Manmohan Singh also represented the Sikh community, Islamabad will send him a formal invitation for the ceremony.
“We have decided to invite former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He is held in high esteem and represents the Sikh community.
“On behalf of the Pakistan government, I extend our invite to him. We shall invite him in writing too,” Qureshi said.
“We want all the Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur and participate in the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev,” he added.
Despite tensions between the two neighbours, Pakistan had assured that it stands ready to open the Kartarpur corridor and welcome the Sikh pilgrims to take part in celebrations in connection with the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.
The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in Punjab and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev.
Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak up to the border will be constructed by India.
Despite escalating tensions over Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani officials have met on a couple of occasions to discuss the Kartarpur corridor project.