Pakistan has decided to invite former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the inauguration ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor, said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Talking to media, the FM said the erstwhile premier of India will be sent an official invitation to the inauguration, which is due to be held on the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.
He said Mr. Singh has a religious affiliation with Kartarpur, thus he and other Sikhs would be warmly welcomed to the ceremony.
The foreign minister underscored that the Kartarpur Corridor opening was a special occasion and Pakistan wanted the former Indian prime minister to be part of the historic moment.
A formal invitation will be extended to the Congress leader as well, said FM Qureshi.
The Kartarpur Corridor, which will be the first visa-free route between Pakistan and India, is expected to open on November 11.
It is also worth mentioning that the federal government has decided to further simplify the visa procedures for Sikh pilgrims arriving in Pakistan through the Kartarpur Corridor.
Pakistan has kept the corridor project insulated from the recent tensions with India over the annulment of Article 370 and New Delhi’s subsequent repressive actions in occupied Kashmir.
Kartarpur corridor connects Pakistan’s Narowal city to India’s Gurdaspur district. Kartarpur Sahib Temple is one of the most revered temples for the Sikh community where Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life.
The ministry has directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) to formulate regulations that would allow Sikh pilgrims to avail visa on ‘Religious Tourism’ through the online visa portal.
As per Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr. Muhammad Faisal, Pakistan has completed 90 percent work on the Kartarpur corridor and will allow 5,000 Sikh pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur this year.