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ISLAMABAD, August 18 (APP):Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu Saturday expressed the optimism that Prime Minister Imran Khan would steer his country out of crises and change its destiny.
The legendary cricketer accompanied by Vikram Singh Meta, Imran Khan’s close friend from India and Ramiz Raja, member of Pakistan’s 1992 World Cup winning team, was addressing a press conference.
Navjot Singh Sidhu said the invitation to him to attend Imran Khan’s oath taking ceremony was a message of love, friendship and peace for his countrymen. There was a deep message in Imran Khan’s statement of taking two steps forward in response to one by India and it was now an obligation for him to take that message to the government across the border to resolve all the disputes with Pakistan through dialogue.
He said both east and west Punjab had same culture, food and blood leading to deep emotional ties between them.
Referring to his meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, he stated that Gen Bajwa had said Pakistan would open the border at Kartarpura for Sikh pilgrims visiting Nankana Sahib to celebrate 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak. He said they wanted peace and opening of Kartarpura passage was the earnest desire of Sikh community, he added.
He said he received lot of love and respect in Pakistan. He had also brought a message of love and friendship from India but the people here reciprocated with ‘compound interest’, he added.
Ramiz Raja said the people-to-people contacts and dialogue at the state level could help peace process between the two countries move forward. He thanked Sidhu for taking the bold step of crossing the Wahga Border for attending Imran Khan’s oath taking ceremony despite the fact that the issue had been politicized in India.
He said they had a hour-long chat with IMran Khan after his oath taking ceremony. They had discussed issues pertaining to cricket as Imran Khan desired to make Pakistan cricket team the world’s powerful one, he added.
Vikram Singh Mehta, a close friend of Prime Minister Imran Khan, said he had 45 years long association with him. He was Imran’s Class fellow. They joined the Oxford University together, he added.
He said Imran Khan had great desire for peace in the sub-continent and the invitation to them was a testament that their friendship and close relationship above the legacy of partition and religion.
He said it was a historic moment for both India and Pakistan as he felt honoured to attend the oath taking ceremony of Imran Khan.
PTI leader Faisal Javaid Khan said dialogue was the best option for the solution of disputes between India and Pakistan.
He thanked the guests for participating in the oath taking ceremony and congratulating Imran Khan.