Manmohan Singh to Attend Kartarpur Corridor Inauguration as ‘Common Man’, Says Pakistan FM Qureshi

Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh would attend the Kartarpur Corridor inauguration ceremony on November 9 as a common man.

Qureshi told reporters in his home town Multan on Saturday that Singh has accepted his invitation and would attend the scheduled opening as a common man rather than as a special guest, Dawn newspaper reported.

“He is welcome even as a common participant,” Qureshi said.

The proposed corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian 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 in Kartarpur, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district up to the border will be constructed by India.

Qureshi said Prime Minister Imran Khan would inaugurate Pakistan’s part of the corridor, facilitating pilgrimage of 5,000 Indian Sikhs everyday to their holy place.

Qureshi’s statement comes amid India’s requests to Pakistan to remove the $20 fee on Kartarpur pilgrims. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India has urged Pakistan not to levy the fee in the interests of devotees and also because the opening of the corridor is a people-to-people initiative.

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