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Sushma Swaraj not to attend Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony in Pakistan

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Aniruddha Dhar | Updated on: 25 Nov 2018, 12:31:07 AM
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi:

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said she will not visit Pakistan to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor next week, citing “prior commitments including election campaign.” She, however, said her colleagues Harsimrat Kaur Badal and HS Puri will attend the ceremony. “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,” he she tweeted. Swaraj also released a statement on her unavailability.

The move comes just a few hours after Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi invited Swaraj, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu to visit the country to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor.

"On behalf of Pakistan I have extended an invitation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Capt Amarinder Singh & Navjot Singh Sidhu to attend the groundbreaking ceremony at Kartarpura on Nov 28, 2018," Qureshi tweeted. 

In her tweet, Swaraj said: “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.”

She added: “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.”

Earlier, India called off a meeting between Swaraj and Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September, citing the "brutal" killing of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and the release of the postal stamps "glorifying" Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani.

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First Published : 24 Nov 2018, 11:22:00 PM