Pakistan is expected to invite former prime minister Manmohan Singh for the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor, according to reports. The corridor will be inaugurated in November.
Reports suggest that Pakistan will not be inviting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, “We would like to extend an invitation to former Indian PM Manmohan Singh for the inauguration function of Kartarpur Corridor. He also represents the Sikh community. We will send him a formal invitation.”
The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab in India 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.
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 is being constructed by India.
Both countries have agreed that Pakistan will allow 5,000 Sikh visitors per day into the country through the corridor, which will also be the first visa-free corridor between the two neighbours since their independence in 1947.
Notaby, tension between India and Pakistan has escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. Reacting to India’s move on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.
Pakistan has, however, repeatedly said the opening of the Kartarpur corridor will not be hit by the current tension with India.
The visiting Indian Sikhs will have to bring their passports with them and they will be issued corridor passes. On return, they will receive their passports from immigration counter after returning the pass.