Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh met on Saturday, November 9, at the end of the historic journey led by the latter through the iconic Kartarpur Corridor. Other than the usual talk of the significance the newly-inaugurated Corridor holds for Sikhs and the Indo-Pak relations, both leaders discussed something else popular in their countries – Cricket. The conversation on the game glued the leaders during their less than five minutes bus ride from the Pakistani side of the Zero Line to Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara.
The game bond hearts of almost everyone in the Indian subcontinent. This bus ride was one of bonding, with Captain Amarinder Singh helping Imran discover a special connection between their families, even though the two had not met before and did not know each other personally. Captain Amarinder told Khan he had seen the former captain of the Pakistani team play in his cricketing days. The conversation went deeper, as the Chief Minister recalled. During his conversation with Khan, the Punjab Chief Minister told the latter that his uncle, Jahangir Khan (who was married to Khan’s maternal aunt, Mubarak, and was a cricketer during the British Raj era) had played for Patiala, along with Mohd Nisar, Lala Amarnath, fast bowler Amar Singh and the two Ali batsmen (Wazir Ali and Amir Ali). These seven players were part of the team captained by Singh’s father, Maharaja Yadvinder Singh, in 1934-35, for India and for Patiala – a fascinating bit of information that Khan enjoyed hearing from the CM.
On Saturday, Imran Khan and his foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi received CM Amarinder Singh and his delegation at Zero Point. The Punjab CM has long held his dream of an open corridor for Sikhs to make a pilgrimage to the second holiest shrine in their faith. The Integrated Check Post (ICP) of the Indian side of the Corridor was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi.