Published: Thu, November 29, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Sidhu will win if he contests election in Pakistan: Imran Khan

Sidhu will win if he contests election in Pakistan: Imran Khan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said Pakistan wants a "strong" and "civilised" relationship with India and the two countries can resolve all issues, including Kashmir, with determination as he laid the foundation stone for a historic corridor linking two revered gurdwaras on both sides of the border.

"It's a step towards peace which our region needs", Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said at the ceremony.

In a sharp contrast, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who jointly inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor with Naidu, raised the issue of terrorism - allegedly sponsored by Pakistan - and warned Islamabad to "rein in" its army, adding that the Indian army was "fully prepared".

In his speech, Khan said Pakistan's "only problem" with India is Kashmir, "the resolution of which only takes us two determined leaders across the border".

"#Kashmir finds a mention at the groundbreaking of the #KartarpuraCorridor. Makes it sound so simple", Omar wrote on twitter.

Sikh pilgrims will board a bus in India, get a special permit to visit Pakistan at the border terminal and be taken to Gurdwara Sahib via special transportation.

Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan across the Ravi River, about 4 km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.

The Indian journalist also supported the rhetoric that both the neighbouring countries should hold talks on the Kashmir dispute. He said the corridor will facilitate the Sikh pilgrims to visit their holiest sites in Pakistan.

S.M. Qureshi interacting with Indian journalists. Credit Devirupa Mitra
S.M. Qureshi interacting with Indian journalists. Credit Devirupa Mitra

"Hopefully we will not have to wait for Sidhu to become prime minister for relations to improve between the two countries and before that, Indian leadership will take positive steps", Khan said. "Both nations can benefit", Khan added.

India was represented by Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri at the event.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday downplayed criticism that surrounds Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and joked that if the Congress leader decides to contest elections in Pakistan, he will win the contest hands down. He was just talking about peace and brotherhood.

Khan wondered why Sidhu, who advocated peace between the two countries, had been criticised for his previous visit.

Chairman All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has welcomed the opening of the Kartarpur border crossing saying, the goodwill measures between India and Pakistan are welcomed by the people of Kashmir. You see what the government said today.

The development comes ahead of Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary in 2019.

India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking place.

More recently, in September, India canceled a meeting between Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, citing the killing of a soldier by militants associated with Pakistan as the reason for pulling out.

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