Taking a swipe at those who had criticised Navjot Singh Sidhu for hugging Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa during Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony last August, the former Punjab minister on Saturday said he was sending a Munnabhai MBBS-style hug to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making the opening of the Kartarpur corridor possible.
"I am thanking Modi ji also, it doesn't matter if we have political differences, doesn't matter if my life is dedicated to the Gandhi family. I am sending a Munnabhai MBBS-style hug to you Modi sahab for this," said Sidhu, referring to the popular Indian movie Munna Bhai MBBS which had depicted the healing power of a hug,” Sidhu said during his address at the inauguration ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor
Sidhu said the opening of the Kartarpur corridor is an ointment on the wounds the people who witnessed bloodbath during the partition as he thanked the prime ministers of India and Pakistan for the historic move.
Sidhu said no one can deny "my friend" Imran Khan's contribution in making the opening of the corridor possible.
"Imran Khan has made history," he said.
LiveNow: Navjot Singh Sidhu addressing inaugural ceremony of of Kartarpur Corridor https://t.co/2O1P7Wv4FS— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) November 9, 2019
Calling Khan the king of hearts, Sidhu said: "Sikandar (Alexander) had won the world with fear and you won the heart all over the world."
Former Indian cricketer-turned-politician thanked the former Pakistani cricket captain for taking the bold step to build the Kartarpur corridor "without looking at gains or losses".
"Both sides of Punjab witnessed bloodbath during the partition. You and (Narendra) Modi have applied ointment on the wounds of the people (through this initiative)," he said.
Sidhu praised Khan in poetic verses for his friendship and leadership. He said Khan is the first Pakistani prime minister who took this initiative selflessly.
"It is the first time since the partition that the boundaries have been dismantled. No one can deny my friend Imran Khan's contribution. I thank Modi ji also for it," he said.
He said the completion of the corridor within 10 months was nothing short of a miracle. It is like coming to heaven. He also thanked Prime Minister Modi for realising the dream of the Sikh community.
He called for opening up the India-Pakistan border for trade, saying "Ye Dil maange more (This heart wants more)."
He said the border should be opened so that the people can have 'makki ki roti' in Punjab (India), eat biryani in Lahore and come back after doing trade there.