Sidhu can contest election from Pakistan: Imran Khan

Lahore: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday joked that former Indian cricketer and current Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu will win hands down if he contests elections there.

In a tongue-in-cheek comment, Imram Khan said: “I heard there was a lot of criticism of Sidhu when he went back after my oath-taking ceremony. I don’t know why was he criticised. He was just talking about peace and brotherhood. He can come and contest election here in Pakistan’s Punjab. He will win,” Khan said at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor.

Appreciating Sidhu’s call for the need of peace and harmony between the two nations, Khan added,”I hope we don’t have to wait for Sidhu to become the Indian Prime Minister for everlasting friendship between our nations.”

Addressing the elephant in the room, Pakistan Premier also said that the only issue between the two neighbouring countries is Kashmir. “The only issue between us is Kashmir, all it needs is just two capable leaderships to resolve this issue. Just imagine the potential we have if our relationships get strong. We should move forward. Pakistan wants to move forward. Can we not solve one problem?”, he said while talking about Kashmir.

He also suggested that the two countries should learn from examples around the world and make efforts to work together. Comparing India and Pakistan to Germany and France, Khan further said that the two countries should learn from the past and to stay in harmony. Khan added that the two nations should open up avenues of business and join hands to move towards progress.

Talking about Kartarpur Corridor, Khan said that he was glad to see the people of Sikh community happy. “Happiness I saw today was like of those Muslims who are standing four km away from Medina on other side of the border, but are unable to visit it, but when they get chance to visit it, the happiness they get is the happiness they are relishing today,” Khan said. Pakistan Premier further said that the people will no more look over the border through binoculars to worship.

Several dignitaries and ministers from both the countries attended that the Kartapur corridor groundbreaking ceremony held. Indian union minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri crossed over the Attari-Wagah Border to attend the event.

The Kartarpur route along the India-Pakistan border is three kilometres away from Gurdaspur, Punjab. Once opened, it would allow Sikh pilgrims a direct access to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan, where Guru Nanak died in 1539.