A top Pakistani Minister revealed that the opening of the historic Kartarpur Corridor was the brainchild of Pakistani Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, contradicting the government's assertation that the holy place for the Sikh community was ideated by Imran Khan. The Minister, further added that the corridor will 'hurt India' forever. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has claimed that the Kartarpur corridor was the initiative of Prime Minister Khan.
However, Pakistan's Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid, a known motormouth considered to be a close aide of Prime Minister Khan, contradicted the government's claim on Saturday when he told reporters here that the opening of the corridor was the brainchild of Army chief General Bajwa and asserted that it will hurt India forever.
"India will remember forever the kind of wound inflicted on it by Gen Bajwa by opening the Kartarpur corridor," he said. "Gen Bajwa strongly hit India by opening the corridor. Through this project, Pakistan has created a new environment of peace and won itself, love of the Sikh community, " he said.
Rashid claimed that the Indian media "played up" the issue of General Bajwa's extension. "The Imran Khan government has three more years and Bajwa has got three years in extension and not six months. So our government will complete its tenure," he said, indirectly referring that General Bajwa is here to back prime minister Khan's government.
Pakistan's Supreme Court on Thursday slashed Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa's 3-year-old extension to six-months, going against the decision of the Imran Khan government. Even as the Pakistan Supreme Court reduced Imran Khan's initial decision on the tenure extension, the Prime Minister of Pakistan lauded the top court for allowing Bajwa to continue as the Pakistan Army chief for half a year. While doing so, he even took a jibe at the country's "external enemies" and the "mafias within", saying the verdict must be of "special disappointment" to them.
General Bajwa did not attend the Kartarpur Corridor's opening ceremony apparently to avoid any controversy. On November 9, Prime Minister Khan inaugurated the Kartarpur corridor to facilitate the visa-free entry of Indian Sikh pilgrims to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikh religion-- Guru Nanak Dev. While inaugurating the corridor, Imran Khan had told a gathering of over 12,000 devotees, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu: "I had no idea of the importance this place holds. I found out a year ago. I am happy we could do this for you."
In February 1999, the Kartarpur corridor was proposed by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he took a bus ride to Lahore during a peace initiative with Pakistan. It links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district.
Pakistan's Sheikh Rashid is the same Minister who accused India of electrocuting him and conspiring his death. Speaking at a press brief in the country, Rahid said, "India wants me to die. Let India know that I won't die that easy." Earlier on August 28, Sheikh Rashid had predicted that India and Pakistan would go on a full-blown war in either October or November. On August 23, Sheikh Rashid was pelted with eggs and was allegedly punched for using "abusive language" against Pakistan Opposition leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in London.
The same Pakistan Minister suffered an electric shock while speaking against PM Modi at a rally in Pakistan during the 'Kashmir Hour.' Pakistan's 'motormouth' Minister said, "We are aware of your intentions, Narendra Modi," and immediately after uttering the sentence, he got an electric shock in his hand, forcing him to discontinue his speech.
"Current lag gaya. Khair, koi baat nahi. Mera khayal hai, current aagaya. (I think it was electric current. Never mind. Modi cannot ruin this rally," Sheikh Rashid added as the crowd bursted in laughter during the solidarity movement.
(With PTI inputs)