Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had last laugh at the inaugural of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. He mocked and laughed away two Indian celebrities, ironically both Sikhs, in a bid to corner India. He did not only insult the former Prime Minister of India in his coterie but also ensured that the ‘mocking video’ goes viral. Otherwise, how come the video taken in the high security bus carrying Imran Khan and his ministers and aides to reach Pakistan side of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor would have gone public. In the video, Pakistan’s Information and Broadcasting minister Firdous Ashiq Awan – can be heard commenting when Imran Khan asked about cricketer-turned-comedian-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, “If they (India) stop Sidhu”, to which Imran Khan responded, “We will make Sidhu a hero”. He is seen smirking and remarking that Sidhu would be made a hero if India does not permit him to enter Pakistan. She then adds, “That will be every channel’s headline.” The video goes on showing Imran Khan asking, “Has Manmohan come’. This is the language Sidhu’s Yaar-Dildar-Sher-e-Baber and what not, Imran Khan uses about elderly two times Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who saw none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi coming and virtually bowing before him as a mark of respect in accordance with Indian traditions. Imran Khan might have belittled or insulted India but what about Pakistan apologist Congress, especially the so-called Gandhi Parivar, which patronises both-Manmohan Singh and Navjot Singh. Imran Khan has cleverly pushed the ball into the Gandhi’s court.
It is an acid test for the Congress to choose between the world’s ace economist Manmohan Singh and the disgraced comedian Navjot Singh Sidhu. One of the two will have to be dumped. Sonia Gandhi cannot afford to laugh away-Thoko Taali.
Pakistan facilitated speech of Navjot Singh Sidhu to the inaugural congregation, obviously to garner praises for marginalized Imran Khan. Sidhu obliged, “It is the first time since partition that the boundaries have been dismantled. No one can deny my friend Imran Khan’s contribution. He also called Imran Khan, as “king of hearts” and added that his ‘yaar dildar’ had won hearts all over saying, “Sikandar (Alexander) won the world with fear but you won hearts all over the world”.
The Kartarpur Sahib political gimmickry unfolds the harsh truth of politicians and comedians having many traits in common, duplicity being at the top. And when it comes to Sidhu, the duplicity can naturally touch the dubious levels.
Sidhu seems to have not learnt lessons, especially in the wake of resentment back home last year when he was sent to Pakistan to attend Kartarpur Sahib corridor ceremony by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who he described as Captain in cricket parlance. Sidhu, then a minister in Punjab, had belittled his seasoned and most patriotic Chief Minister, saying he (Captain Amarinder Singh) had dissuaded him (Sidhu) following a grenade attack on a religious congregation in Amritsar that left many people dead, but he paid no heed. Obviously, Captain Amarinder Singh had tried to stop the laughter-man Sidhu, as he had blamed Pakistan’s ISI for the attack.
Coming to Sidhu’s cricket parlance of Captain tag to Rahul Gandhi, his entire Pakistan visit had remained mired in the willow and ball metaphors. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had at one point of time said that Imran Khan had put India in a conundrum with the move to open the Kartarpur border corridor. In presence of his Prime Minister, Qureshi had gone on saying that Imran had “bowled a googly at India by opening the Kartarpur border corridor.
Less said about the laughter man the best. But he and his ilk must learn from patriots like Captain Amrinder Singh, who minces no words in believing to be Indian first. He showed it in immense measure during the Imran Khan’s show.
Sidhu might have earned some cheers, even from Imran Khan in the true ‘Thoko Tali’ style but he has put the entire Congress in dock. They will have to make some explaining over the insult to Dr Manmohan Singh, who formed part of the inaugural delegation, and ignoring Capt Amarinder Singh, a serving Congress Chief Minister.
The Congress is left with limited choices. It has either to dump Dr Manmohan Singh (if he reconciles with the insult hurled by Imran)or Sidhu-the Tali Thoko man, who has since lost his comedy show.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper