Kartarpur– Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday showered effusive praise on his friend from cricketing days and Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and wondered why there was a “hue and cry” in India after his visit to Pakistan three months ago with the message of friendship and love.
He also said Sidhu can win an election in Punjab in Pakistan.
“I heard there was a lot of criticism of Sidhu when he went back after my oath-taking ceremony. The man came up with friendship and love. What crime did he commit, I don’t know,” he wondered speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kartarpur Corridor project near the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara, where Sikhism’s founder, Guru Nanak Dev, spent the last 18 years of his life.
Sidhu was caught in controversy after hugging General Qamar Javed Bajwa during Khan’s swearing-n ceremony and was criticised by the BJP and other right-wing organisations.
Khan said that Sidhu is popular in Pakistan, specially in the country’s Punjab province. “He can contest election, he will win,” he said.
Stating that there is no other option except friendship between the two countries, Khan said “hopefully we will not have to wait for Sidhu to become Prime Minister for relations to improve”. Indian leadership will take positive steps, he hoped.
Speaking after Sidhu, Khan said he is impressed with Sidhu’s knowledge of Sufism while acknowledging that he was good in his cricket.
Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Sidhu praised Khan and hailed both the governments for approving the corridor. (IANS)