Pak Foreign Minister’s ‘googly’ remark on Kartarpur Corridor sparks major row

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A big row has been sparked off over Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s remarks that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “googly” had forced Indian government to engage at the groundbreaking ceremony of the landmark Kartarpur Corridor.

BJP leader Dr Subramanian Swamy on Friday demanded that the “government spokesman” should immediately react to the statement from Mr Qureshi.

“Imran delivered a ‘googly’ and India sent two ministers to Pakistan,” Mr Qureshi said on Thursday referring to the presence of Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri at Kartarpur on November 28 function.

Mr Qureshi also recalled that it was the same government of India which has cancelled his meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Moreover, Mr Qureshi’s remarks came close on the heels of External Affairs Minister Ms Swaraj categorically ruling out India reviving formal talks with Pakistan. She also said Kartarpur development should not be linked to formal engagement between India and Pakistan.

BJP leader Dr Swamy also took strong exception to the presence of Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu at Katarpur function where he used all kinds of laudatory remarks for Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. There must be action against Sidhu “under National Security Act”, former Union Minister said.

Dr Swamy went on to describe Imran Khan as a “stooge and puppet” of Pakistan Army and said Mr Khan is only speaking out what he is being told to speak. “If at all Pakistan PM is serious about dealing with terrorism, he can order immediate arrest of Hafiz Saeed….Today Pakistan is a semi terror state,” Dr Swamy told a TV channel.

A retired Army officer, Maj Gen (Retd) B D Bakshi meanwhile said, he also “endorsed every word of Dr Swamy” and accused Pakistan of trying to spread the arc of terrorism beyond Jammu and Kashmir to the neighbouring state of Punjab.

“India’s biggest problem is terrorism, Imran Khan did not utter a word on it…and instead he spoke about Kashmir, he wants us to surrender Kashmir,” Maj Gen Bakshi said.

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