Manmohan to lead Congress delegation to Kartarpur

Congress senior leader and former prime minister Manmohan Singh. PTI file photo

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will lead a delegation of Congress leaders to visit the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan on November 9.

The delegation will comprise Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Congress leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia, R P N Singh, Asha Kumari, Randeep Singh Surjewalam Deepender Singh Hooda and Jitin Prasada.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to inaugurate the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on November 9 and the Congress delegation will be in the first batch of pilgrims visiting the shrine located three kms inside Pakistan.

India and Pakistan have made joint arrangements to facilitate visits to the Gurdwara to mark 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

Pakistan had invited Manmohan Singh for the inaugural ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan. However, Singh's office had denied having any knowledge about the Pakistani invitation.

The former prime minister would be visiting the gurdwara as a common pilgrim and not be part of any official function in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, a group of Sikh pilgrims embarked on a religious journey – Nagar Kirtan – from the national capital to Nankhana Sahib Gurdwara, the birthplace of Guru Nanak, located in Pakistan.

Pakistan has allowed the Nagar Kirtan as a special gesture to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. The Nagar Kirtan is expected to cross into Pakistan through the border post at Attari on October 31.

India and Pakistan last week signed the agreement on the Kartarpur Corridor that will allow Indian pilgrims to undertake a visa-free visit to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartapur. The agreement will allow 5,000 Indian pilgrims daily to visit the shrine where Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life.

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