New Delhi, Oct 1: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not accept Pakistan’s invitation for the inauguration of Kartarpur corridor, media reports said on Tuesday.
Earlier, the Pakistan government had on Monday extended an invitation to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the inauguration of Kartarpur corridor that is scheduled to be held on November 9.
“We would like to extend an invitation to former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the inauguration function of Kartarpur Corridor. He also represents the Sikh community. We will also send him a formal invitation,” Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said.
The inauguration ceremony will take place three days before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
India has asked Pakistan to “reconsider” its decision to charge USD 20 as service charge from pilgrims visiting the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan.
Initially, 5,000 pilgrims will be allowed to visit daily from India but later 10,000 pilgrims will be allowed per day, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian side of the border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur up to the border is being built by India.
The four-lane highway connecting the Zero Point of the corridor up to National Highway-354 is being constructed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Besides, a passenger terminal is also under construction.
The 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 Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.