Indian FM says can't attend Kartarpur ceremony due to 'prior commitments', but other ministers will
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday promptly responded to her Pakistani counterpart's invitation to the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, saying she cannot attend the event due to "prior commitments".
Thanking Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for the invitation, Swaraj said in a letter sent to the Foreign Office: "Due to my prior commitments, including election campaign scheduled in the state of Telangana on that day, I would not be able to travel to Kartarpur Sahib."
She did, however, say that India's Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri will attend the event as Government of India's representatives.
"It is our hope that the Government of Pakistan will expedite the 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," the letter further stated.
With four days remaining till the historic groundbreaking of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims, Qureshi had announced earlier today that he has extended an invitation to Swaraj to attend the ceremony.
According to a tweet by Qureshi, an invitation was also sent to the chief minister of India's Punjab province, Capt Amarinder Singh, and Indian cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu.