Islamabad, Dec 3 (IANS) Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday dismissed Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s “googly” remark, saying that the Kartarpur Corridor opening was not a “double game” but a sincere effort in establishing peaceful ties with India.
“The (ground-breaking) ceremony (of Kartarpur) was a peace initiative. It was a sincere effort. So was the invitation extended to the Indian ministers. It was not a googly for sure,” Khan was quoted as saying by Geo News during a meeting with TV anchors and reporters in the capital.
The Prime Minister performed the groundbreaking ceremony on November 28 to develop the Kartarpur corridor to link Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur in India with Kartarpur gurdwara in the presence of Indian Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Hardeep Puri and Congress party leader Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Qureshi made the remark later, saying that Khan had bowled India a “googly” by taking the initiative of opening the Kartarpur border. His jibe came after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj categorically ruled out any dialogue with Pakistan, saying talks and terror cannot go together.
Later, both foreign ministers accused each other of using the occasion for political gains.
Sushma Swaraj said that Qureshi’s remarks had exposed that Pakistan had no respect for the Sikh sentiments and was doing it all for politics.
“Mr Foreign Minister of Pakistan – your ‘googly’ remarks in a dramatic manner has exposed none but you. This shows that you have no respect for Sikh sentiments. You only play ‘googlies’,” she tweeted.
Qureshi termed Swaraj’s comments a “deliberate attempt” to “mislead” the Sikh community. He said that Pakistan had taken this initiative in “good faith”.
In the Monday meeting, Khan also said that Pakistan remained committed to resolution of the Kashmir dispute with India.