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Imran’s Kashmir remark regrettable: MEA

Srinagar, Nov 28: India on Wednesday said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s reference to Jammu and Kashmir during the ground breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor was “deeply regrettable” and asserted that he chose to politicise a pious moment.

The Ministry of External Affairs said Jammu and Kashmir was an “integral and inalienable” part of India.

“It is deeply regrettable  that the Prime Minister of Pakistan chose to politicise the pious occasion meant  to realise the long pending demand of the Sikh community to develop a Kartarpur corridor by making unwarranted reference to Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral and inalienable part of India,” the ministry said.

It added that Pakistan must fulfil its international obligations and take effective and credible action to stop providing shelter and all kind of support to cross border militancy from territories under its control.

Khan Wednesday laid the foundation stone for a historic corridor linking two revered gurdwaras on both sides of the border.

“I am saying today, that our political leaders, our army, and all other institutions are all on one page. We wish to move forward, we want a civilised relationship. We have just one problem, Kashmir. If man can walk on the moon, what problems are there that we cannot resolve?” Khan asked while addressing the gathering.

The much-awaited corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur – the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev – with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims.

 

‘If Sidhu fights elections in Pak, he will win’

Kartarpur, Nov 28: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said if Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu contests elections in Pakistan, he will win.

He also ridiculed the criticism that Sidhu faced for his visit to Pakistan in August.

“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 and brotherhood. He can come and contest election here in Pakistan’s Punjab, he’ll win,” Khan said while speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kararpur corridor in Pakistan.

The fondness of Imran Khan was not one-sided as his ‘friend’ Sidhu also heaped praises for the Pakistan Prime Minister. In his inimitable style, Sidhu took to poetry to express his gratitude to Imran for giving his nod to the Kartarpur Corridor.

“Mera yaar, dildaar, Imran Khan,” he said adding that his “big hearted” friend has kept his promise and ended 70 years of wait for the corridor.

“The Kartarpur Spirit can make pilgrims of us all, venturing out on a journey that breaks the barriers of history and opens the borders of the heart and the mind. A journey that our people can walk together towards, a future of shared peace and prosperity for India and Pakistan,” he said ahead of the ceremony.

He added that there had been enough bad blood and that the corridor would be a major opportunity to open the doors of the hearts of the people. “Violence must stop and peace should return to the region,” he said. Sidhu said that if the borders between both countries opened, it would be possible to transport goods to different parts of Pakistan and even others countries.

“This is my hope, this is my dream … While there is blood in my veins, I will continue to thank both governments,” he said. “My father used to tell me that Punjab Mail went till Lahore, I believe that it can go further till Peshawar, till Afghanistan,” he said. (Agencies)