Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Minister of State (IC) for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri
Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Minister of State (IC) for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri

Harsimrat, Hardeep Puri to attend Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony on Swaraj's behalf

ANI | Updated: Nov 24, 2018 23:22 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 24 (ANI): Hours after Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi extended an invitation to his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, the latter on Saturday said that due to her prior election commitments in Telangana, she would not be able to attend the event.
In a letter to Qureshi, Swaraj thanked him for inviting her to the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on the Pakistan side of the International Boundary on November 28. However, owing to her campaigning tasks, the External Affairs Minister underlined that Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Minister of State (IC) for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri would be representing the Indian government in the groundbreaking ceremony.
"Being mindful of the sentiments of our Sikh citizens and the importance of facilitating their smooth and easy access to holy Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib, we will be sending Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister for Food Processing Industries and Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (IC) for Housing and Urban Affairs, as Government of India's representatives for the event planned for 28 November 2018," Swaraj said.
She added, "It is our hope that the Government of Pakistan will expedite the construction of the corridor in order to ensure that our citizens can pay their respects at the Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib using the corridor as soon as possible."
Earlier today, the Pakistan Government had extended an invitation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Punjab cabinet minister and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor on November 28.
Taking to his Twitter handle, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi wrote, "On behalf of Pakistan, I have extended an invitation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj @SushmaSwaraj, Capt Amarinder Singh @capt_amarinder & Navjot Singh Sidhu@sherryontopp to attend the groundbreaking ceremony at #Kartarpura on 28 Nov, 2018. #PakistanKartarpuraSpirit"
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is slated to inaugurate the groundbreaking ceremony of the facilities at the crossing on the Pakistan side on November 28. On Friday, the Pakistan Government had decided to open the Kartarpur corridor next year on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
Pakistan's decision came a day after the Indian Union Cabinet on November 22 approved the building and development of Kartarpur corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to India-Pakistan International Border.
Kartarpur is a small town in Narowal district, situated about four kilometres from the Pakistan-India border, where Guru Nanak Dev 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.
The development of the corridor will facilitate pilgrims from India to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur on the banks of the Ravi River in Pakistan. With this, pilgrims would be able to visit the holy shrine throughout the year. (ANI)

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