Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not accept Pakistan's invitation for the inauguration of Kartarpur corridor, reports say.
Congress sources told news agency ANI that Pakistan government's invitation to Singh for the inauguration of Kartarpur corridor, that is scheduled to be held on November 9, has been refused by the former PM.
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had earlier extended the invitation through a video message.
"The Kartarpur corridor inauguration is a big programme and Pakistan is preparing for it in a big way. We have decided to invite India's former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to grace the event... We will send a formal letter to him soon. We are also very happy to receive the Sikh pilgrims who are coming to Kartarpur to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak," Qureshi had said.
Earlier reports had also suggested that Singh will only state his decision upon receiving a formal invitation.
"Dr Singh has not received the invitation yet. He will decide at that point of time, if invited," a key aide of the former PM told Hindustan Times.
But Congress leaders had also indicated that it is unlikely that Singh will accept Pakistan's invitation.
"For a Prime Minister who did not travel to Pakistan despite many invites, I believe that it is unlikely that Dr Manmohan Singh will rush to accept this invitation," a Congress leader was quoted as saying by HT.
The leader added that the party is aware of Pakistan's attempt to use the invitation to its advantage. "This is clear," a leader said, "given how Qureshi tried to turn the invitation into a spectacle with his public invitation before even sending a formal invite."
Cricket-turned-politician Gautam Ganbhir had also termed Pakistan's invite to Manmohan Singh as a "political move".
"It is up to the Congress to decide whether they want to send Dr Singh or not. Navjot Singh Sidhu went and hugged General Bajwa and only one person opposed that move - Captain Amarinder Singh," Gambhir had said.
The invitation came amid rising tension between India and Pakistan after New Delhi's decision to abrogate the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir through Article 370. Pakistan PM Imran Khan had also launched an attack on India at the United Nations General Assembly for the alleged human rights violations.
Pakistan FM Qureshi had also walked out of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Foreign Ministers meeting before MEA Jaishankar's speech. He had re-entered the meeting once the Indian minister's address was over.
Islamabad had earlier said that it is ready to open the Kartarpur Corridor for Indian Sikh pilgrims visiting Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, despite rising tensions between neighbouring nations.