OPINION: Is Navjot Singh Sidhu’s ‘friend’ Pakistan PM Imran Khan really a ‘gem’?

Navjot Singh Sidhu who currently serves as the Minister of Local Government, Tourism, Cultural Affairs and Museums in the state of Punjab on Tuesday embarked on his second trip to Pakistan in an effort to “improve” ties between the two countries. He was invited by Pakistan to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpura Corridor.

After both countries decided to work on the Corridor, Mr. Sidhu tweeted, “Thank you @ImranKhanPTI Bhai, we welcome the positive step, it means the world to us. You’re a gem! This is a great service to mankind. Kudos to you!”

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His tweet was in response of a tweet by Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi, Minister of Foreign Affairs: “Pakistan has already conveyed to India its decision to open Kartarpura Corridor for Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary. PM Imran Khan will do break ground at Kartarpura facilities on 28th November. We welcome the Sikh community to Pakistan for this auspicious occasion.”

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Two days later Qureshi again tweeted, “On behalf of Pakistan I have extended an invitation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj @SushmaSwaraj , Capt Amarinder Singh @capt_amarinder & Navjot Singh Sidhu @sherryontopp to attend the groundbreaking ceremony at #Kartarpura on 28 Nov, 2018.”

Ms. Swaraj declined the invitation but Mr. Sidhu accepted it.

“For many years the Indian Government had been asking for this (Kartarpur) corridor, only now Pakistan responded positively. It doesn’t mean the bilateral dialogue will start because of this, terror & talks can’t go together,” news agency ANI quoted EAM Sushma Swaraj as saying.

After reaching Pakistan, Sidhu in Lahore said, reported the news agency, “The hug (with Pakistan Army Chief) was for hardly a second, it was not a Rafale Deal. When two Punjabis meet they hug each other, its normal practice in Punjab.”

Sidhu was talking about the hug which he gave to Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa when he visited Pakistan last time.

Definitely, Mr. Sidhu’s intentions are good and he is genuinely trying to improve the relationship between the two countries but he is forgetting one thing–We don’t “hug” those who kill our men.

Mr. Sidhu is forgetting, “Bhai” (brother) don’t kill “Bhai” (brother).

Pakistan is the source of terror in India. Even Mr. Sidhu’s own state Punjab has faced the horror of terrorism.

How can a person (Imran Khan) be a “gem” when he is sponsoring/supporting terrorism in his neighbouring country India? When he is unable to stop ceasefire violations at the LoC border given the fact that he is the Prime Minister of the country! I definitely want Mr. Sidhu to enlighten me on this.

Responding to the invitation, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh acted more wisely when he said -“That (going to Pak) is his (Sidhu) wish, I can’t say anything. I only know my responsibility as CM and a Sikh so that is why we wanted this (Kartarpur Corridor) to happen but also my responsibility is to maintain law and order and that prevents me from going (to Pak): Punjab CM”.

No doubt that the Pakistan PM is a great friend of Mr. Sidhu and whenever he will invite our politician he will love to accept the offer but the facts remain that he is the PM of a country which is sponsoring terrorism in India, violating ceasefire and hence killing our soldiers.

However, the recent episode reminded me of a famous Hindi saying, “Aise doston se toh dushman bhale.” (It’s better to have enemies than to have friends like them)!

About the author: Author is Deputy Editor in India TV and tweets at @AnuragSason
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Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and views of India TV.

 

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