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Sidhu bats for 'friend' Imran Khan, says new Pak PM wants 'peace'

By Vikas

Ajmer, Sep 3: Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had drawn flak for travelling to Islamabad to attend Imran Khan's swearing-in, has said that the new Pakistan Prime Minister wants peace with India.

At an event organised by the Youth Congress in Ajmer on Sunday, the cricketer-turned politician said his hope has strengthened after his "personal friend became the prime minister of Pakistan after years of struggle". He further exuded confidence that ties between both the nations would improve.

Congress leader and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu

"Kargil War happened after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee returned from Pakistan. Pathankot attack happened after PM Narendra Modi returned from Pakistan, but when Sidhu returned from Pakistan and some 'nok-jhonk' (bickering) took place, the message from my friend came that 'we want peace... You take one step and we will take two'," Sidhu said, referring to Imran Khan, reported PTI.

Sidhu, known for his verbose remarks, said hope is the biggest top (cannon), which conquers the impossible.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's impromptu visit to Lahore in December 2015 to meet his then Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif, Sidhu said PM Modi visited there without any invitation, and that was because he understands "talks are the only way (forward)".

[Imran Khan backs Sidhu, says those targeting him are doing a disservice to peace]

"Nothing except negativity was gained by blood shedding. Thousands of people lost their lives. So I would say positive - anything is better than nothing. Sportsmen or cricketers be it Wasim Akram, Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli or artists like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan... They associate with people and I too went to Pakistan with this hope only," he said.

Navjot Singh Sidhu visited Pakistan to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan, a cricketer turned politician, on August 18.

[Sidhu hopes Imran Khan will be good for Pakistan, India peace process]

During the visit, Sidhu had hugged Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, triggering criticism from the BJP and also from within his party, the Congress. Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh had also criticised Sidhu for the move.

OneIndia News with PTI inputs

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