The body language spoke volumes. And the message was loud and clear from Pakistani side. During the function, it was Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu who sat next to Prime minister Imran Khan even as two Union ministers from India, Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri, were kept at an arm’s length. Khan hardly shared any bonhomie with the Union ministers whereas he kept chit-chatting with Sidhu in glee.Earlier, Sidhu’s entry to Pakistan had almost a dozen Pakistan Army personnel escorting him across the Wagah border, while the Union ministers walked in with folded hands and prayers on their lips.
During his address, Sidhu simply adored Khan for taking the initiative of the proposed corridor and blatantly flaunted his “friendship” with him, which the world was unaware of till Khan became the Pakistan Prime Minister. Khan, instead of speaking about Guru Nanak Dev ji or the plight of the Sikhs in Pakistan, focussed more on the strained Indo-Pak relations which, to an extent, laid bare the intent of the entire exercise that Pakistan has initiated.Was he doing a religious favour to the Sikhs or trying to build a cosmetic corridor for dialogue with India? Or was he replying to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who during the corridor ceremony in Dera Baba Nanak two days ago, had warned the Pakistani Army against its nefarious designs? The over-shadowing diplomacy in the event stood out far too starkly than the respect for religious sentiments of the Sikhs.As it is, security agencies in India have already served a word of caution to the Centre against going overboard with the proposal. That the Pakistani Army might exploit the opportunity to plot more subversive activities in Punjab is a strong apprehension amid this religious euphoria, even as India has refused to take the bait for the time being.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook