Navjot Singh Sidhu can win an election even in Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Wednesday as he wondered why there was a hue and cry back home over the former Indian cricketer’s push for peace and brotherhood during his previous visit to the country.
Khan laid the foundation stone for the historic Kartarpur Corridor linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur – the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev – to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district to facilitate visa-free movement of Sikh pilgrims.
The corridor made headlines in August after the Punjab cabinet minister and Congress leader visited Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of his friend Khan.
Sidhu was later criticised for hugging Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the high-profile event.
“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 between two countries which are nuclear armed,” Khan said.
“It is foolish for anyone to think there can be war between two nuclear-armed countries as there is no winning for anyone. So, if there can be no war then what other way is there other than friendship?” he added.
Khan said the citizens of both countries want peace and it is just the leadership which needs to be on the same page.
“I am hoping that we don’t have to wait until Sidhu becomes prime minister for there to be peace between India and Pakistan,” he said.
Khan jokingly said that Sidhu has such a large fan following in Pakistan, specially in the country’s Punjab province, that if he ran in elections here, he would win.
“He can come and contest election here in Pakistan’s Punjab, he’ll win,” the cricketer-turned-politician said about Sidhu.