FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi says India’s response to Pakistan’s peace initiative was positive.

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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday welcomed India’s decision to send two of its ministers to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur border crossing, Radio Pakistan reported.
The foreign minister said the Indian response to the peace initiative taken up by Pakistan has been positive.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan will perform the groundbreaking of the 4-km-long corridor connecting Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur district with Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. The corridor will provide visa-free access to the Indian Sikh pilgrims to the shrine.
Lying dormant due to the tense relations between the two countries since 1988, the proposal to construct the corridor providing visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims had been renewed by Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in August this year.
Earlier, the Pakistan government had invited Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Indian Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu besides 17 Indian journalists to the Nov 28 Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony.
The invitation was accepted with “unalloyed joy” by Sidhu, who termed the development as “historic”. Who added that he had lodged an application with the Ministry of External Affairs for permission to attend the groundbreaking event.
“This day will indeed break ground,” Sidhu said in his letter. “As our two nations take this first step, the Kartarpur Spirit can make pilgrims of us all, venturing out on a journey that breaks the barriers of history and opens the borders of the heart and the mind.”
Meanwhile, the chief minister of Indian Punjab thanked Qureshi for the invitation but declined it in a letter addressed to the foreign minister.
Swaraj had earlier excused herself from attending the ceremony, citing “prior commitments” but had announced that India’s Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri will attend the ceremony in Kartarpur Sahib as representatives of the Indian government.
In a late night tweet on Saturday, Swaraj had said, “We hope that the Government of Pakistan will expedite construction of the corridor in order to ensure that our citizens can pay their respects at the Gurudwara Karatpur Sahib using the corridor as soon as possible.”

Sushma Swaraj
We hope that the Government of Pakistan will expedite 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.
Qureshi expressed confidence that Kartarpur Corridor would attract members of Sikh community to Pakistan from across the world including the United States and the United Kingdom.
He said the Sikh community will be greeted here amid sentiments of love and would take back positive image about Pakistan and its people.
While the idea was shared by the army chief with the Congress leader and Indian Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu during his visit to Pakistan in August for attending Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony, the Pakistan government announced the date for the groundbreaking ceremony of the corridor only this week after the Indian Union cabinet agreed to avail the offer of the passageway in view of the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of the Sikh faith, Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, next year.
According to the proposal, the Indian government will construct and develop the Kartarpur corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Indian Punjab’s Gurdaspur district to the border, while Pakistan will build the other part of the corridor connecting the border to the Gurdwara in the Kartarpur Sahib area of Narowal district.

Border ceremony: India’s Punjab CM turns down Qureshi’s invitation.

Stubborn India continues to escape from peace process as Amarinder Singh, chief minister of India’s Punjab, also declined invitation of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to attend groundbreaking ceremony of Kartarpur border crossing.

Stubborn India continues to escape from peace process as Amarinder Singh, chief minister of India’s Punjab, also declined invitation of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to attend groundbreaking ceremony of Kartarpur border crossing.
Singh—who is facing criticism at home over deteriorating peace situation and soaring crime rate—cited ‘killings of Indian soldiers and terror attacks’ as reason to turn down the invitation.
“My reasons for declining your invitation are twofold. Firstly not a day passes when Indian soldiers are not killed or wounded across LoC. Secondly, the ISI has started its nefarious activities within my state”, alleged the CM.
Earlier, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj also had turned down invitation of his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmoom Qureshi to attend groundbreaking ceremony of Kartarpur border crossing.
It would be suffice here to say that at least three people were killed whereas 15 others sustained injuries in a grenade attack at Nirankari Bhawan gurdwara in Amritsar. The Sikh leaders and independent media outlets are pointing fingers at Hindu hardliners, specifically members of RSS, for the attack at religious site. The attack is also being reviewed as hardliners’ retaliation to killing of a local RSS leader in Amritsar.
Tensions in Indian Punjab continues to rise as RSS—under banner of ruling BJP—is eyeing Sikhs and Punjab as its next target to incite religion-based violence to win general elections 2019

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