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Punjab CM Amarinder Singh
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

Punjab CM declines Pakistan's Kartarpur Corridor invitation

ANI | Updated: Nov 25, 2018 13:46 IST

Chandigarh, (Punjab) [India] Nov 25 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has declined Pakistan's invitation to attend the Kartarpur Corridor foundation-laying ceremony to be held on November 28, citing continued terrorist attacks in his state and killings of Indian soldiers by Pakistan armed forces as the reason.
In a letter to Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Chief Minister said, "Everyday Indian soldiers are killed or wounded on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Rather than moving towards normalcy, these incidents are escalating."
Singh, however, welcomed the foundation-laying ceremony of the corridor, which he described as the "cherished desire of the Sikhs around the world".
On November 22, the Union Cabinet approved the building and development of Kartarpur Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to India-Pakistan International Border. A day after this landmark decision, Pakistan government also gave a nod to the opening of Kartarpur corridor next year- the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
The Chief Minister evoked the recent Amritsar grenade attack on a religious congregation that killed three people and injured 19. He also pointed out that his battalion lost one Major and two jawans in an ambush on the Line of Control, just a few months back.
"The ISI has started its nefarious activities within Punjab and since his Government was sworn in (March 2017), the state had neutralized 19 ISI armed and controlled modules, apprehended 81 terrorists and recovered 79 weapons, in addition to numerous grenades of the HG 84 type made in Pakistan's Ordnance factories, with Austrian know-how, along with seizure of some IEDs," the Chief Minister said.
Singh said that he hopes "Prime Minister Narendra Modi would understand that under these circumstances, it will not be possible for him to be present in Pakistan on the historic occasion."
The Chief Minister also thanked Pakistan Foreign Minister Qureshi for the invitation and recalled his visit to Pakistan, when he had paid his respects at Gurdwara Sri Nankana Sahib and Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib where his father Maharaja Yadvindra Singh had reconstructed Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib in 1932. "As you will see from the stone laid at Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib, it was my grandfather Maharaja Bhupindra Singh who carried out flood protection measures from 1920 to 1929 to protect our Gurdwara which was being ravaged by floods in the river Ravi each year," he stated.
Singh also expressed his desire to visit Gurdwara Sri Nankana Sahib, saying, "once normalcy between our two countries is restored I will be able to do so when the corridor is completed."
The Chief Minister also expressed hope that Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will do all his best to bring "India-Pakistan together on the road to peace and friendship."(ANI)