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Kartarpur corridor event: Punjab CM declines Pakistan’s invitation, Sidhu accepts

Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh. File   | Photo Credit: Akhilesh Kumar

Citing continued killing of Indian soldiers and terror attacks in the State, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday declined Pakistan’s invitation to the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kartarpur corridor. But his Cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu has accepted the invite.

Pakistan hinted at its annoyance with the negative note from the Chief Minister, in a tweet by Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain.

Capt. Amarinder, however, said he hopes to visit the shrine across the border once normalcy between the two countries is restored.

Mr. Hussain tweeted, “Pakistan through its conduct has once again showed who stands for peace in South Asia and which force is not sincere. PM @ImranKhanPTI has clearly shown Pakistan stands for peace — KartarpurBorderOpening is history in the making, history will judge those who stood on wrong side.”

Capt. Amarinder, in a letter to Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, wrote, “...My reasons for declining your invitation are twofold. Firstly, not a single day passes when Indian soldiers are not killed or injured on the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir. Rather than moving towards normalcy these incidents are increasing.”

“..Secondly the ISI has started its nefarious activities within my State. Since my government was sworn in, in March 2017, we have neutralised 17 modules handled-controlled by the ISI and its associates, apprehended 81 terrorists...the last attack was in Amritsar last Sunday on a peaceful religious congregation, in which 3 men were killed.”

Mr. Qureshi had invited Capt. Amarinder and Mr. Sidhu to the ground-breaking ceremony on November 28. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan will be inaugurating the ceremony.

Mr. Sidhu, meanwhile, in a letter to Mr. Qureshi wrote, “'It is with great honour and unalloyed joy that I accept your invitation to attend the ground-breaking ceremony...I look forward to meeting you on this historic occasion.”

His application to attend is now lodged with the Ministry of External Affairs, he added.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 8:07:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/kartarpur-corridor-punjab-cm-declines-pakistans-invite-to-attend-sidhu-accepts/article25590796.ece

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