Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said she will not visit Pakistan to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims.
She was invited to attend the event by her counterpart Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
Thanking Qureshi for the invitation, Swaraj tweeted: "I thank HE Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi Foreign Minister of Pakistan for inviting me to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor on the Pakistan side of the International boundary on 28 November 2018. /1."
Swaraj said Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Puri will travel to the Asian nation for the event and represent the Indian government.
"Since I am unable to travel to Kartarpur Sahib on the scheduled date, Government of India will be represented by my esteemed colleagues Mrs.Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Mr.H.S.Puri," Swaraj said.
Kartarpur is a small town in district Narowal, 4 km from the Pakistan- India border, where the founder of the Sikh religion, Baba Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life.
Subsequently, Gurdwara Darbar Sahab was built at the site on the Pakistan side and Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak in India, which are visited by thousands of Sikhs every year.
As per the Pakistan Foreign Office statement: "Opening the corridor will allow Sikh Yatrees ease of access for their most reverential place of worship which has been their longstanding demand. This is also reflective of the importance and primacy that Pakistan gives to all minorities."
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the groundbreaking ceremony of the facilities at the crossing on the Pakistan side on Nov 28.
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