Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Thursday said that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wanted to visit his ancestral place in Pakistan but didn't go because of "painful memories" associated with the place.
Badal, however, said that every Sikh wants to visit Kartarpur and Nankana Sahib once in a lifetime.
"Every Sikh wants to go at Kartarpur and Nankana Sahib once in a lifetime. I also want to go there. I once asked Manmohan Singh when he was the Prime Minister whether he wants to visit his ancestral place in Pakistan at Chakwal or not. He said he didn't go as there are painful memories associated with the place," said Badal.
He slammed Pakistan saying that its Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has deplored the Kartarpur initiative by saying that it is a 'googly' that Pakistan has thrown towards India.
"On one hand, Pakistan looks at us with an evil eye and on the other, expects us to accept its hospitality. The Pakistan Foreign Minister said that Kartarpur is a 'googly'. If such is their thinking, then we would like to play it on the front foot," said he.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday said that he would not go to Pakistan for the opening of the Kartarpur corridor and indicated that former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will also not attend the event.
"There is no question of me going (to Pakistan for the opening of Kartarpur corridor) and I feel Dr Manmohan Singh will not go as well," Captain Amarinder said.
Earlier today, Captain Amarinder invited the former Prime Minister to attend the main event at Sultanpur Lodhi to mark Guru Nanak Dev's 550th Parkash Purab next month.
Pakistan government had extended an invitation to Manmohan Singh for the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor to be held on November 9. Congress sources had said he is unlikely to accept the invitation.
The corridor will connect Kartarpur Sahib with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab and will facilitate the visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)