Pakistan invites India's Sushma Swaraj, Amarinder Singh to attend Kartarpur ceremony

08:09 PM | 24 Nov, 2018
Pakistan invites India's Sushma Swaraj, Amarinder Singh to attend Kartarpur ceremony
ISLAMABAD - In another step to ease ties with its eastern neighbour, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has invited the key government officials and politician of India to join the Kartarpur groundbreaking ceremony to be held on 28th.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, Punjab Chief Minister Captain (retd) Amarinder Singh and former Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu have been sent invitations on the behalf of Pakistan, the foreign minister said.

Qureshi said that Pakistan's positive attitude is in front of all the world, adding that they are following the policy given by Prime Minister Imran Khan in his victory speech after winning the general elections on July 26

Imran Khan to India

He had said, "I think it will be very good for all of us if we have good relations with India. We need to have trade ties, and the more we will trade, both countries will benefit. The unfortunate truth is that Kashmir is a core issue, and the situation in Kashmir, and what the people of Kashmir have seen in the last 30 years …. they have really suffered.

Pakistan and India’s leadership should sit at a table and try to fix this problem. It’s not going anywhere.

We are at square one right now [with India]. If India’s leadership is ready, we are ready to improve ties with India. If you step forward one step, we will take two steps forward.

I say this with conviction, this will be the most important thing for the subcontinent, for both countries to have friendship."

Navjot Singh Sidhu's Views

Earlier today, Sidhu talking to Indian media said the invitation was 'from the same person who had called me when I was invited for the swearing-in ceremony'.

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The politician expressed that it will be an honour to be a part of the history, however, hastened to add that he will go to Pakistan if the Indian government permits so.

'There will not be a happier moment than the time when my turban touches the ground where Guru Nanak Dev once walked. It was an unfulfilled wish of my parents,' an emotional Sidhu said.

When asked whether he will attend the ceremony on the Indian side of the border, the minister replied in the affirmative.

In an earlier tweet, Sidhu had welcomed his government’s decision to accept Pakistan’s proposal to build the Kartarpur corridor saying it will 'burn animosity' between the countries.

It will build bridges, burn animosity and will act like a soothing balm for two neighbouring countries, he tweeted.

India on Thursday gave the go-ahead to Pakistan’s proposal to build Kartarpur corridor to facilitate Sikh pilgrims wishing to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal District.

The Gurdwara Kartarpur Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Narowal city holds religious significance for the Sikh community; It is the place where Baba Guru Nanak settled down after his travels as a missionary.

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The decision to open the Kartarpur border was made after Imran Khan assumed office in August; Navjot Singh Sidhu was invited for the swearing-in ceremony of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief.

During the ceremony, Navjot Sidhu had called for reopening the corridor, however, he faced flack back home for cordially meeting Pakistan's Army Chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Prime Minister Imran Khan would formally open the Kartarpur border on November 28th along with other government functionaries.