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.
'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.
#WATCH Pakistan PM Imran Khan: I don't know why was Sidhu criticised (in India). He was just talking about peace. He can come and contest election here in Pakistan, he'll win. I hope we don't have to wait for Sidhu to become Indian PM for everlasting friendship b/w our nations. pic.twitter.com/yPdWCJDYAr— ANI (@ANI) November 28, 2018
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.
'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.