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Sidhu Says His Pakistan Trip Has Resulted In ‘Message Of Peace’ From ‘Friend’ Imran Khan

JAIPUR – Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday said his belief that India-Pakistan ties were set to improve has strengthened after his return from Islamabad, as his “friend” Imran Khan has sent a message that he wants peace.

Unlike before, when an Indian prime minister’s visit to Pakistan was responded with terrorist strikes, Sidhu said his trip resulted in a message of peace.

After his return from Pakistan last month, Sidhu said, there was controversy in India, but the new Pakistan prime minister said “they want peace”.

Sidhu visited Pakistan to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Khan, a cricketer-turned politician, on August 18.

During the visit, Sidhu had hugged Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, triggering a torrent of criticism from the BJP and also from within his Congress party, including Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Sidhu said, “I will tell you why my hope about the improvement in relations of both the countries got strengthen.”

“Kargil War happened after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee returned from Pakistan. Pathankot attack happened after PM Narendra Modi returned from Pakistan, but when Sidhu returned from Pakistan and some ‘nok-jhonk’ (bickering) took place, the message from my friend came that ‘we want peace… You take one step and we will take two’,” Sidhu said, referring to Khan.

Responding to a question at ‘Soch Se Soch Ki Ladai’ event organised by Youth Congress in Ajmer city of Rajasthan, Sidhu said sportsmen and artists break barrier and bring people closer.

The Punjab tourism minister said dialogue is the only way to improve ties with Pakistan.

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