06:29 GMT10 May 2021
Listen Live
    Asia & Pacific
    Get short URL

    The Pakistani prime minister has said that India and Pakistan should learn lessons from the past to resolve the differences over Jammu and Kashmir while asserting that if India takes one step forward then Pakistan will take two steps forward toward friendship during the foundation laying ceremony of a pilgrimage corridor.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): India has strongly condemned comments made by Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor on Wednesday. India's foreign ministry said that Khan's 'unwarranted reference to Jammu and Kashmir' on the occasion was deeply regrettable.

    '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 Kartarpur corridor by making unwarranted reference to Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral and inalienable part of India', India's Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

    He has also questioned if 'we' would have to wait for Navjot Singh Sidhu to become prime minister of India for friendship between India and Pakistan. Sidhu is a leader of the opposition party Indian National Congress and had recently visited Pakistan and called for restoring peace between the two neighbours.

    'I don't know why Sidhu was criticised (in India). He was just talking about peace. He can come and contest elections here in Pakistan, he'll win. I hope we don't have to wait for Sidhu to become Indian PM for everlasting friendship between our nations," Khan said. 

    Many in India construed this statement as Pakistan's desire for a change in Indian leadership.

    'Whenever I travelled to India, people would tell me that the Pakistan army is not interested in peace… I am telling you that I, the PM, our party, other political parties, our army — we are all on the same page in wanting to establish a civilised relationship with India', Imran Khan said at a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a corridor leading to Kartarpur Sahib, one of the holiest shrines of the Sikh religious community.

    Imran Khan said that there have been mistakes on both sides, but it would not be wise to keep playing this blame-game. He cited the example of France and Germany, which were on opposite sides of the battleground during the Second World War, to make his case for peace.

    'If those (France and Germany) countries managed to come together after waging such a big war in which so many people on both sides died, why can't we do the same? They have an open border now, and fruitful business ties. When they could break their chains of hatred, why can't we?' Khan questioned.

    However, India reiterated its stand that Pakistan must fulfil 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'.

    The Kartarpur Corridor is a border corridor-in-the-making between India and Pakistan. It connects the twin Sikh shrines of Gurudwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan and Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in India through a 4.5 km stretch of road. The corridor will facilitate the crossing of Sikh devotees from India to visit the Gurudwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in the Narowal district of Pakistan. 


    PhD Explains How S-400 Deal Will Affect Balance of Power Between India, Pakistan
    Pakistan Plans to Buy High-End Drones in China Amid India's S-400 Deal
    China to Sell Armed Drones to Pakistan to Take on India's S-400 - Analyst
    Pakistan Voices Opposition to Russia's S-400 Sale to India
    peace appeal, terrorism, bilateral relations, war, Imran Khan, India, Kashmir, Pakistan
    Community standardsDiscussion