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Kartarpur corridor: Kashmir and Sidhu’s poetry star as Imran launches project in Pakistan

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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has launched the Kartarpur corridor, a project that will help Sikhs in India travel to Guru Nanak’s final resting place in Pakistan.

Kartarpur corridor: Kashmir and Sidhu's poetry star as Imran launches project in Pakistan

Navjot Sidhu (right) was one of a number of Indian politicians who attended today’s ceremony in Kartarpur, where Imran Khan inaugurated the corridor project. (Photos of Sidhu and Khan: ANI)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sidhu can win election in Pakistan: Imran
  • Hope he doesn’t have to become PM for India, Pakistan to be friends: Imran
  • India slams Imran, says he politicised Kashmir at Kartarpur event

Imran Khan made it sound so simple: All India and Pakistan need are “two capable leaderships” who can solve their “only issue”. Kashmir.

Just imagine the potential, Pakistan’s prime minister said, if ties between the two nations grow strong.

This afternoon, Khan was expected to dominate headlines for launching an infrastructure project that will allow Indian Sikhs access to Kartarpur, the home of Guru Nanak’s final resting place. But he did so much more. He said Navjot Sidhu, his former cricket colleague, now a minister in Punjab’s Congress government, would win if he ran for office in Pakistan. “I hope we don’t reach a situation where we have to wait for Sidhu to become the prime minister for India and Pakistan to be friends,” he said.

Sidhu, who spoke before Imran Khan, recited poetry in his praise.

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Back in India, the Ministry of External Affairs wasn’t quite as impressed with the Pakistani premier. It was “deeply regrettable”, the ministry said, that Khan politicised the “pious occasion” in Kartarpur by “making an unwarranted reference” to Jammu and Kashmir, an integral part of India. It reminded Pakistan of its obligation to take action to stop providing support and shelter for cross-border terrorism.

Khan’s remarks on Kashmir weren’t the only controversy. Pro-Khalistan leader Gopal Chawla was filmed meeting Pakistan’s army chief, General Qamar Bajwa, on the sidelines of the ceremony in Kartarpur. A spokesperson for the Pakistan army said Bajwa “met all guests at the venue irrespective of identity”.

Inputs from ANI

ALSO WATCH | Long Live India, Pakistan and Imran: Sidhu at Kartarpur event

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