Navjot Singh Sidhu, the only one of the 3 Indian cricketers invited by Imran Khan, chief of Tehreek-e-Insaaf to his oath-taking ceremony, reached Lahore yesterday on Friday to watch Khan taking over as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan. After few minutes of walking across the Wagah border, the minister of Congress Punjab government, Navjot Singh Sidhu, stated he came to Lahore, “take part in the happiness of my friend Imran Khan”.
Navjot Singh Sidhu said, “ I have come here not as a politician but as a friend”.
Sidhu, who seems to have braved jibes and insults piled onto him on social media for the visit, swept them aside stating that he needs not give any kind of proof and hardly cares for what people say or said.
Other than Navjot Singh Sidhu, the elected Prime Minister Imran Khan had invited his two more of his contemporaries from India, Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev.
Mr. Sidhu, staying steadfast to his stand of accepting the invite even before a formal invitation came in. He recited, “Hindustan jeevay, Pakistan jeevay (May India live, May Pakistan live)”, reading a verse that he had jotted much before in Pakistan.
He also said that he saw himself to be “a goodwill ambassador of India” and had brought along “a message of love” to India.
The cricketer-turned-politician, as per Dawn a Pakistan newspaper, recounted how former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had also pushed for improving relations with Pakistan and started the bus service from Wagah.
Quoting Atalji, he said, “If there is a fire at a neighbour’s house, we will also get the heat.” He further added, “Mr Vajpayee, who made repeated efforts to resolve differences with Pakistan despite severe setbacks, is known to have argued that a country could not change its neighbours and “you have to get along with them”.
Imran Khan, who had been a phenomenal cricketer for 2 decades and was the captain of the Pakistan cricket team when it won over England in the World Cup in the year 1992, had rolled out his political party in the mid-nineties after seeing a successful cricket career.