Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Thursday that former prime minister Manmohan Singh has agreed to join the first all-party "jatha" (delegation) to the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara to join the mega event after the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor.
He also invited President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev and said that the two have agreed to attend. In separate meetings with the president and the prime minister here, he urged them to join the mega celebrations to mark the auspicious occasion.
After his meeting with Manmohan Singh, Amarinder clarified that neither he nor the former prime minister had any plans to "visit" Pakistan and were merely visiting the historic and holy gurdwara through the Kartarpur Corridor as part of an all-party delegation. "There is no question of me going (to Pakistan for the Kartarpur Corridor opening) and I feel Manmohan Singh will not go as well," he told reporters, pointing out that there was a huge difference between visiting Pakistan and going to the gurdwara through the Kartarpur Corridor.
Pakistan has said that it will invite former prime minister Singh to the Kartarpur Corridor opening ceremony but Singh's office clarified that there has been no such invite so far. The Congress said politics is being played over the issue, with party sources adding that Manmohan Singh had not visited Pakistan even during his tenure as prime minister for 10 years. Amarinder Singh told media persons that both Kovind and Modi had accepted the Punjab government's invitation to be part of the historic celebrations and that the modalities of their visits would be chalked out after the Kartarpur Corridor opening programme was finalised with Pakistan.