Days after Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu landed in controversy for hugging Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed, Pakistan has opened the doors of the Kartarpur corridoor.
Reacting to the news, Sidhu ‘thanked his friend Imran Khan’. “He has fulfilled desire of millions of Sikh devotees by opening the doors,” Sidhutold Zee News, adding that it had nothing to do with the infamous hug.
The doors of Kartapur Sahib shall be opened on the 550th Birth anniversary of Sikh guru Gurunanank Devji which falls in November.
Earlier Sidhu had said that his belief that India-Pakistan ties were set to improve has strengthened after his return from Islamabad, as his “friend” Imran Khan has sent a message that he wants peace.
Unlike before, when an Indian prime minister’s visit to Pakistan was responded with terrorist strikes, Sidhu said his trip resulted in a message of peace.
After his return from Pakistan last month, Sidhu said, there was controversy in India, but the new Pakistan prime minister said “they want peace”.
Sidhu visited Pakistan to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Khan, a cricketer turned politician, on August 18.
During the visit, Sidhu had hugged Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, triggering a torrent of criticism from the BJP and also from within his Congress party, including Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
“Kargil War happened after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee returned from Pakistan. Pathankot attack happened after PM Narendra Modi returned from Pakistan, but when Sidhu returned from Pakistan and some ‘nok-jhonk’ (bickering) took place, the message from my friend came that ‘we want peace… You take one step and we will take two’,” Sidhu said, referring to Khan.
Responding to a question at ‘Soch Se Soch Ki Ladai’ event organised by Youth Congress in Ajmer city of Rajasthan, Sidhu said sportsmen and artists break barrier and bring people closer.
The Punjab tourism minister said dialogue is the only way to improve ties with Pakistan.
“Hope is the biggest top (cannon), which conquers the impossible. My hope has strengthened after my personal friend became the prime minister of Pakistan after a struggle of years… I can say with full confidence that relations between both the nations would be enhanced,” he said.