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Manmohan to join delegation to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will join the first all-party Indian delegation to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan to attend the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev on November 9, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Thursday.
Manmohan to join delegation to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan

Manmohan Singh has accepted his invite, he said here.

The Chief Minister also invited President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, including the historic opening of the Kartarpur corridor.

In separate meetings with them here, the Chief Minister urged them to join the mega events to mark the auspicious occasion.

Amarinder Singh later told the media that both Kovind and Modi accepted the state government's invitation to be a part of the historic celebrations and modalities for their visit would be finalised after the Kartarpur corridor opening programme is frozen with Pakistan.

An official spokesperson said the detailed official programme of events has been shared with both, the President and the Prime Minister, and they had been requested by the Chief Minister to attend as per their convenience.

However, the Chief Minister has urged them to participate in the Kartarpur corridor opening at Dera Baba Nanak and the November 12 main programme at Sultanpur Lodhi.

At his meeting with the Prime Minister, Amarinder Singh also urged his personal intervention to facilitate political clearance for allowing a special all-party ajatha' or delegation to visit Sri Nankana Sahib, the birth place of the first Guru, now in Pakistan, on the historic occasion.

He requested that a group of 21 persons may be allowed to visit Sri Nankana Sahib to organise a apath' or prayer on the occasion of the 550th Prakash Purb from October 30 to November 3 and bring a anagar kirtan' or religious procession to Sultanpur Lodhi via Wagha in Amritsar later in the day.

The 'nagar kirtan' will arrive in Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala district on November 4.

The Chief Minister has also written a letter to Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar seeking formal clearance for the Nankana Sahib delegation visit and the anagar kirtan' to be brought from Pakistan to Punjab, according to an official spokesperson.

The delegation to Pakistan that will accompany the Chief Minister to the historic gurdwara would comprise all the 117 state legislators, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs from Punjab, Shriomani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) members, as well as members of the Sant Samaj and representatives of each recognised political party in the state.

Construction of the 4.2 km-long corridor is targeted to be completed by October 31, a week before the celebrations to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

The gurdwara is located in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province. It is near Dera Baba Nanak town in Punjab's Gurdaspur district.

It is a highly revered Sikh shrine where Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev spent 18 years of his life and is his final resting place.

( With inputs from IANS )

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