26/11 terror attack mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed's aide, Gopal Singh Chawla, on Thursday, exclusively spoke to Republic TV after he shared the photograph with Punjab Congress Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and called him 'his brother'. During the conversation, the pro-Khalistani leader confirmed of meeting with Sidhu upon his arrival in Pakistan, however, denied the reports of a closed-door meeting with the Congress leader.
"I met him at the Governor House. This photo was taken on November 27 when Sidhu has come to Pakistan. I met him at the Governor House where we had organized a programme for him. I got the chance the shake hands with him and click a photo with him. I only took a photo with Sidhu. He was our guest. I took a photo with SGPC Chief Gobind Singh Longowal also. Is it a crime to take a picture with anyone? There was no meeting. I had no talks with him. I just took a picture with him. Who allows poor people like us to meet these sort of big people.here was so much security given to Sidhu that I could not have a meeting with him," Gopal Singh Chawla said while speaking to Republic TV.
He later went onto regard Sidhu as the 'messenger of love and God' and stated that he is 'a close friend' of Pakistan PM Imran Khan.
Sidhu is the messenger of love. If you will criticize Sidhu then it means you are criticizing God. He is a very close friend('jigri yaar') of our Pakistan's Prime Minister. Kartarpur Corridor was like a gift to him from Imran Khan. He came and he spread love in Pakistan. Don’t know why you media guys criticise him always. You should praise him. It’s only because of him that this tension between the two countries is reducing," added the pro-Khalistani leader.
When asked about his brief meeting with Pakistan Army chief at the groundbreaking Kartarpur ceremony that took place on November 28, he said:
"I was overwhelmed that during the ceremony I also met Pakistan Army Chief and other leaders. I just got an opportunity to shake hands with him. It was a big moment for me. I only said 'I love you Army chief' to him."
In his 'personal capacity', Navjot Singh Sidhu had attended the Kartarpur foundation stone-laying ceremony on November 28, even as Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh was not in favour of his visit to Pakistan, having declined his own invitation citing the terrorism that Pakistan so regularly perpetrates from its soil onto India.
Despite having gone in his personal capacity, Sidhu was made a major part of the ceremony, with remarks from his earlier Pak visit being broadcast at the start of the proceedings, and by being asked to speak.