Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan made a 'Sidhu for PM' pitch in his speech at the Kartarpur corridor's groundbreaking.
Speaking at the end of the ceremony, shortly after Sidhu had showered superlative upon superlative on him, Imran Khan took the opportunity to taunt India over animosity between the two countries, not making a single reference to the terrorism Pakistan so regularly unleashes on Indian soil.
He remarked on Sidhu's previous visit, when he had hugged Pak Army chief Bajwa, claiming he didn't understand why people had criticised a person who had come with a message of peace. Imran Khan raised nuclear weapons, saying that only a fool would speak of war between two countries that are nuclear capable as then, everyone would lose.
He said to Sidhu, "You come here and fight elections in Punjab, you'll win."
Imran Khan took potshots at the Indian government, making references to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, and expounded on his theory that there are two types of politicians: "One who dreams and takes a chance, and another who is scared and only looks at his votebank -- one who spreads hate and another who brings people together."
"I hope that I don't have to wait for Sidhu to become Prime Minister for there to be friendship between India and Pakistan. I hope such leadership comes that has the strength...Look at the history of humankind. When a leadership takes a stand, anything is possible."
Earlier, Navjot Singh Sidhu had been given chief guest treatment in Pakistan, being seated right next to Imran Khan and foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. His remarks from his earlier visit, when he had hugged Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa had been broadcast in the room as part of the ceremony's opening. Taking the stage himself, Sidhu had praised Imran Khan to the hilt, saying that when the history of the Kartarpur corridor is written, Imran Khan's name would be on the first page.
Even before that, Sidhu had once again come face to face with Pak COAS Bajwa, making a point of going up to him, shaking hands and exchanging a word -- just days after Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh had slammed Bajwa for the terrorism continuously perpetrated from Pakistani soil.