Sidhu steals the show at Kartarpur

Imran delays function by hours to wait for former Indian cricketer, visits international border to receive him
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Published on Nov 09, 2019 10:07 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Surjit Singh, Kartarpur (pakistan)

Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday remained the centre of attraction at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur where he went with the first jatha to mark the opening ceremony of the corridor.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan delayed the inaugural function on the other side of the border by 2 hours to wait for Sidhu and visited the passenger terminal across the border to receive the former Indian cricketer and took him along to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib.

Invited as a special guest by the Pakistan government for the ceremony, Sidhu was given permission with by the ministry of external affairs (MEA) to go to Kartarpur as part of the first jatha.

As soon as he reached the gurdwara along with Imran, who delayed the opening function till 3pm, many people from Pakistan were seen holding placards to welcome him. Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Bollywood actor and Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol were also ferried in the same bus.

He was the only guest who sat with Imran and was asked to address the gathering apart from Akal Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh.

Earlier too, soon after he entered the passenger terminal near Dera Baba Nanak on the Indian side, people mobbed him trying to shake hands and take selfies with him.

Also, the customs and immigration staff besides cops were much eager to get photographed with the MLA. Nobody really noticed other jatha members, including Punjab ministers, MLAs and religious leaders.

Senior Congress leaders, including cabinet minister OP Soni, Faridkot MP Mohammad Sadiq and Tarn Taran MLA Dharambir Agnihotri went to meet him.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Surjit Singh Rakhra and Jangvir Singh, media adviser to party president Sukhbir Singh Badal, also had a handshake with him even as he bashes the Badal family.

He was seen approaching former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA HS Phoolka. Then, he remained seated with AAP legislator Kanwar Sandhu till the jatha left for Kartarpur around 2pm.

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