NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday tweeted that he had formally invited his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu to the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor in Pakistan on November 28.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to inaugurate the event.
In a late night response, Swaraj responded that while she would be unable to attend since she was campaigning in Telangana that day, but that “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 & Urban Affairs, as Government of India’s representatives for the event planned for 28 November 2018.”
Earlier, describing the invitation as “a neat trick by the Pakistanis,” an official had remarked that: “If Sushma refuses, the Pakistanis can tell the world how India is constantly rejecting its offers for peace and friendship. If she accepts, it will be seen as India finally relenting to Pakistani pressure for talks.”
Mehmood Qureshi’s tweet had evoked divided responses in Pakistan too.