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‘Unable to attend Kartarpur border ceremony’: Sushma thanks Pakistan for invite

KARACHI: Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Saturday excused herself from attending the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Border, without giving any specific reason, ARY News reported.

In a series of tweets, Sushma Swaraj thanked her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi for inviting her to attend the ceremony, but she said she was unable to travel to Kartarpur border on the scheduled date.

She said the Indian side would be represented by her colleagues Union Cabinet Minister of Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri.

Read More: FM Qureshi invites Sushma Swaraj to Pakistan for Kartarpur groundbreaking

“I 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.

“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,” she wrote in her tweets.

“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,” she added.

FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday invited India’s Sushma Swaraj, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, and former cricketer and Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu to attend the groundbreaking of the Kartarpur border corridor.

“We welcome this proposal and we are sending two ministers to represent Government of India,” Sushma Swaraj wrote in another tweet about Pakistan’s decision to open the border.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will perform the groundbreaking for the facilities at the Kartarpur border crossing on November 28.

Qureshi had earlier tweeted: “Pakistan has already conveyed to India it’s decision to open Kartarpura Corridor for Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary. PM Imran Khan will do break ground at Kartarpura facilities on 28th November. We welcome the Sikh community to Pakistan for this auspicious occasion.”

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