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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

Manmohan Singh would never visit on Pakistan’s invite, says Congress

Congress spokesman Pranav Jha, however, said that Singh, as a pilgrim, will be a part of the first jattha (group) that will visit the Kartarpur gurdwara along with other Indian dignitaries.

india Updated: Oct 21, 2019 04:45 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, New Delhi/ Islamabad
Former Prime minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh had earlier declined Islamabad’s request to be the chief guest at the event.
Former Prime minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh had earlier declined Islamabad’s request to be the chief guest at the event.(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
         

The Congress on Sunday said that former prime minister Manmohan Singh would never go to Pakistan on the invitation of the government of the neighbouring country.

Congress spokesman Pranav Jha, however, said that Singh, as a pilgrim, will be a part of the first jattha (group) that will visit the Kartarpur gurdwara along with other Indian dignitaries.

He said if Singh had to go for the inauguration ceremony, the invitation has to come from the Indian government and not on one from Pakistan.

“Remember, as a prime minister for 10 years, he [Singh] never visited Pakistan even once,” said Jha.

Earlier in the day, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that former Indian PM Manmohan Singh was welcome to attend the November 9 Kartarpur Corridor inauguration as “a common man”.

Singh had earlier declined Islamabad’s request to be the chief guest at the event.

“He is welcome even as a common participant,” local media quoted Qureshi as saying on Saturday.

Qureshi said that all arrangements had been finalised and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan would inaugurate the corridor on November 9.

The corridor will link Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Punjab to Darbar Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan’s Kartarpur, where Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, spent his final days.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to inaugurate the Indian side of the corridor on November 8.