Congress maintains safe distance, says Sidhu went to Pakistan in personal capacity
New Delhi, Nov 28: The Congress has maintained a distance of sorts from Navjot Singh Sidhu who is in Pakistan on the invitation of Imran Khan to attend the Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony. The official guests representing the Indian Government for the function were Union Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Puri. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was invited, but she turned down the invitation.
Swaraj even said today that Kartarpur related developments were fine but talks with Pakistan on the official level were not possible till Islamabad stops exporting terrorism to India. Amid all this, Congress is in a fix. The grand old party would not want itself to be seen as backing Sidhu's Paksitan ethusiasm, neither can it stop him from hopping border every now and then.
"Navjot Singh Sidhu went there on personal invitation. He didn't go there in an official capacity as a Minister. This has also been clarified by the Punjab CM. The onus of whatever he says there in his personal capacity lies on him alone," Congress' Pratap Singh Bajwa told ANI.
"Navjot Singh Sidhu went there (Pakistan) for the 2nd time in 3-4 months. Who issued him visa? MEA. First, you issue him a visa and then you talk about what he did he say after going there," he added.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday (November 27) said he had asked Sidhu to reconsider his decision to visit Pakistan on Imran Khan's invite.
"Sidhu told me he had already committed himself to going. When I informed him of the stand I had taken on the issue, he said it was his personal visit but he would get back to me. But I did not hear from him," Singh said.
Meanwhile, speaking at the Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony, Pakistan PM Imran Khan heaped praise on Navjot Singh Sidhu and said the Punjab Minister is a messenger of peace from India. Khan said the Sidhu would win election if he contests in Pakistan.
India had proposed the corridor to Pakistan around 20 years back. The issue recently came into focus after Sidhu visited Pakistan in August to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan as the prime minister.
Last week, Pakistan and India announced that they would develop the corridor on their respective side of the border to help Indian pilgrims visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.