New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Nov 29: Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu is back in India and the media has ensured that his enthusiasm is punctured for posing with the Khalistani militant and resident of Pakistan Gopal Singh Chawla. Sidhu has come up to defend himself by saying that he does not know who Gopal Chawla is.
Navjot Singh Sidhu said after returning to India, "There were probably 5-10,000 pictures taken of and with me there(in Pakistan), I don't know who is Gopal Chawla."
Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had yet again landed himself in another controversy. This time, the Congress leader had been posing with Sikh militant Gopal Singh Chawla for a photo which has been uploaded by Chawal himself on Facebook.
Who is Gopal Chawla?Gopal Chawla is a pro-Khalistani militant whose involvement is suspected in the recent attack on a Nirankari gathering in Amritsar, was among those invited for the Kartarpur ground-breaking ceremony in Pakistan. His presence, along with that of Pakistani army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, at the civilian event came as a last-minute surprise for India which had sent two Union ministers. Sidhu was present in his personal capacity. Pakistan's double speak was exposed again on Wednesday during the foundation laying ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor. As Pakistan PM Imran Khan talked about peace with India, Pakistan Army Chief was seen flirting with noted anti-India Khalistani terrorist Gopla Chawla. Pak Amry chief General Qamar Bajwa was caught on camera with Chawla during the ceremony. However, Pak Army tweeted clarification, "Gen Bajwa met all guests at the venue irrespective of identity".
Meanwhile, reaching out to India in a big way, Imran said it will be madness to think of war between the two nuclear-armed states and that friendship was the only option even as he asserted that the Army and political leadership in Islamabad were on the same page on improving ties with New Delhi.The function for the Kartarpur Corridor that will link Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur in India with Kartarpur Gurdwara, where Guru Nanak Dev spent the last 18 years of his life, was attended by Union Minister Harsmirat Kaur Badal and Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, a long-time friend of Khan from their cricketing days.It was symbolic of elements that mark the fragility in Indo-Pakistan relations with the presence of Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and Khalistani activist Gopal Singh Chawla, a Pakistani national, on a day India declared that it will not participate in Saarc summit in Islamabad as talks and terror cannot go together.