The Indian government has hit out at Pakistan over the events that took place in Kartarpur on Wednesday, as Imran Khan used the groundbreaking ceremony for the Kartarpur corridor as an opportunity to mock India, pitch for Navjot Singh Sidhu to become Prime Minister, and completely gloss over Pak-sponsored terrorism while raking up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
India's ministry of external affairs issued the following statement in response:
In response to queries regarding a reference to "Kashmir" by Pakistan Prime Minister today, the Official Spokesperson said:
"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.
Pakistan is reminded that it must fulfill its international obligations and take effective and credible action to stop providing shelter and all kind of support to cross-border terrorism from territories under its control."
In his speech, apart from making the aforementioned reference to Jammu and Kashmir, Imran Khan had attempted meddlesome commentary in the political affairs of India, making a pitch for Navjot Singh Sidhu to be Prime Minister by expressing the hope that "it wouldn't need Sidhu to become PM for India and Pakistan to have peace."
After speaking about how only a fool would speak about war between two nuclear capable countries, Imran Khan went on to take potshots at the Indian government, saying that there were two types of politicians -- ones that dreamed and took a stand, and those who were scared of alienating their votebanks. Lumping Sidhu (and presumably himself) firmly in the former category, he invited Sidhu to contest elections in Pakistan, saying that he would definitely be successful if he ran in Pakistan's Punjab.
Pakistan's posturing had begun even before ceremony officially kicked off, as its entire top brass, including Imran Khan, Pak army chief Bajwa and foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had been present, with Sidhu being accorded a chief guest-like treatment over and above the official delegation from India, namely union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri.