Sidhu playing into Pakistan’s hands, PM Modi real hero of Kartarpur: Shwait Malik

Raakhi Jagga
Punjab BJP president Shwait Malik addressing media persons during a press conference at party office in Chandigarh on Monday, January 28, 2019. (Express Photo by Jasbir Malhi)

REACTING TO hoardings in Amritsar and Faridkot hailing Congress MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan as the ‘real heroes’ for ‘opening the Kartarpur Corridor’ in Pakistan, Punjab’s BJP president Shwait Malik on Wednesday said Sidhu was “playing into the hands” of the neighbouring country. He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the “real hero of the Kartarpur Corridor”.

Reacting to Sidhu’s speech in which he had referred to Imran Khan as ‘Babbar Sher’, Malik said, “It is not for the first time that Sidhu’s love for Pakistan has emerged...he is inviting hate for himself by making such speeches. “

Malik was in Ludhiana in connection with a ‘Gandhi Sankalp Yatra’ organised by BJP’s Ludhiana unit to commemorate the 150th year birth anniversary celebrations of Mahtama Gandhi. Such yatras will also be organised in other parts of the state, he said. The programme has been named ‘Mann ke Baapu’.

The state BJP chief further said, “...such diplomatic decisions are taken by the PM and external affairs ministry. It is entirely the prerogative of the prime minister of a country whether to give a go ahead to this project or not. Hence, Modiji is the real hero of Kartarpur Corridor in India and none else. By a visit to Pakistan to meet his cricketer friend...if Sidhu thinks...he is the hero...let him think so...”

Malik, however, appreciated the corridor opening and said the number of pilgrims visiting Kartarpur will increase gradually as it is just the start.

Asked about the Centre’s decision to commute the death sentence of Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted for the 1995 assassination of the then Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, to life imprisonment, Malik said, “This has not been done for the first time in our country...hence I don’t find anything wrong in it...We are with the Union government over the decision of exemption to Sikh prisoners on the occasion of Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary. This is a good gesture. Moreover, Rajoana had already completed his sentence...”