Liked in Pakistan, hated in India? Navjot Sidhu’s newest Kartarpur second geared toward attracting Punjab’s citizens

Punjab tradition minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan are unlikely...

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Loved in Pakistan, hated in India? Navjot Sidhu's latest Kartarpur moment aimed at attracting Punjab's electorate

Punjab tradition minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan are unlikely to see eye to eye on any explicit matter. Nevertheless, all three leaders, regardless of their contrasting stance and agendas, agreed on one factor on Wednesday: That Sidhu’s recognition in Pakistan soared throughout his final two controversial visits to the nation.

Whereas Harsimrat, who was representing the Authorities of India on the floor breaking ceremony of Kartarpur Hall in Pakistan, taunted the Congress chief for his recognition within the ‘rival nation’, Imran mentioned that Sidhu was maybe the one Indian politician who may simply win an election even in Pakistan. Sidhu himself accepted after his earlier go to in August that the what he acquired in two days there, he didn’t get in his lifetime right here.

Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan, and his overseas minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, with India’s Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu. Twitter/@PTIofficial

However as promising as all of the love and reward heaped on Sidhu could look like, reality stays that Sidhu’s political ambitions lie right here in India, and never Pakistan. Why then has he openly courted controversy when many in his personal celebration stay uncomfortable over his subsequent visits to the neighbouring nation?

To reply this, it’s first essential to take a look at what all Sidhu appears to have misplaced by tactless reward for Pakistan and Imran.

Sidhu not solely heaped reward on his ‘jigri yaar dildaar’ Imran however he additionally credited the Pakistan prime minister for single-handedly opening the Sikh pilgrimage route. “He has performed what we couldn’t obtain in 73 years,” Sidhu mentioned.

In doing so, Sidhu attracted acerbic reactions from the Opposition in Punjab, and a few critical backlash on social media. He additionally undermined the following Indian authorities’s efforts in opening the pilgrimage path to first Sikh guru, Nanak Dev’s last resting place. A 1.5 kilometre protected passage for visa-free entry of Sikh pilgrims was first envisaged in 1999 by then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Nevertheless, it took virtually 20 years spanning over the regime of assorted Indian and Pakistani governments to have reached this level.

Moreover, Sidhu, by showing alongside a pro-Khalistani Sikh chief in Pakistan, gave the a lot wanted arsenal to the Opposition. Gopal Singh Chawla, who had reportedly stopped Indian officials from visiting a Gurudwara in Lahore to satisfy Indian Sikh pilgrims, was first seen shaking arms with Pakistan Military Chief Common Qamar Javed Bajwa. Quickly after, Chawla launched a photograph on his Fb web page (not a verified account) the place he was seen hugging Sidhu.

The BJP attacked Sidhu over the image as celebration chief Manjinder Singh Sirsa, requested Sidhu whether or not he cared for India’s sovereignty and Punjab’s peace. Harsimrat, who was observing protocol in Paksitan, lashed out at Sidhu as soon as she reached India. Talking to ANI, she mentioned, “He (Imran Khan) supplied him (Navjot Singh Sidhu) to battle elections from Pakistan. He (Sidhu) appears to have extra love and respect in Pakistan than what I seen over right here. He has some good relationships over there.”

The image was particularly embarrassing for the Congress as Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh turned down an invite to attend the occasion citing Pakistani conspiracy to disturb peace in Punjab.  In an interview to India At the moment on Tuesday, Amarinder mentioned that he had suggested Sidhu in opposition to the go to and had advised him he was taking a stand on Pakistan terror. “But he went,” he mentioned. “Sidhu will get carried away typically,” he mentioned. Leaders of the Congress celebration have determined to remain silent on the difficulty, besides Tripat Bajwa who got here out in opposition to Sidhu brazenly after Amarinder’s feedback. However Sidhu could have determined to go forward together with his ‘pro-peace’ agenda, in face of all of the criticism, looking for to burnish his credentials among the many Sikh citizens in Punjab. He already appears to be getting assist from sudden quarters. In response to a report in The Indian Expressa number of radical Sikh outfits have praised Sidhu and even demanded the title of Fakhr-e-Quam from Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC) for him. Teams like All India Sikh College students Federation (AISSF) and Dal Khalsa have hailed Sidhu for his ‘braveness’ to leverage his friendship with Imran for the good thing about the nation. The report additional mentioned, that internally inside the Congress, the temper just isn’t completely in opposition to Sidhu. Many celebration leaders consider that retrospectively, Sidhu’s transfer will assist Congress authorities declare credit score for the Kartarpur Hall, even when the Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP could have sidelined them now. Senior Congress chief Shashi Tharoor additionally got here out in assist of Sidhu.

Furthermore, some members of the Sikh neighborhood from exterior India additionally congratulated Sidhu for his pro-peace strategy.


The Indian Categorical quoted Daljit Singh Khalsa, former Common Secretary of Stockton (California state) Gurdwara Sahib as saying, “Sidhu did nice work on each non secular and Indo- Pak relations fronts which compelled the Centre authorities to take an early choice on this which is straight associated to Sikh faith.”

Sidhu’s chief ministerial ambitions have been an open secret ever since he give up BJP and subsequently toyed with the concept of becoming a member of Aam Aadmi Get together or launching his personal outfit earlier than becoming a member of Congress. Even on the time of becoming a member of Congress, when it grew to become clear that Sidhu’s chief ministerial ambitions could must take a again seat, the cricketer turned politician made a cryptic comment when pestered over his possibilities of main the Punjab authorities.

Gehu khet important, beta pet important aur tum byaah ki taiyari kar rahe ho? (The wheat is within the fields, the kid is but to be born and you’re making preparations for the marriage),” he quipped to endured questions on changing into the chief minister.

In distinction, 76-year-old Amarinder had beforehand hinted that he could not run for one more time period as chief minister owing to his advancing age. With that in thoughts, Sidhu may be within the course of of constructing his personal model of politics in style in Punjab.


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