New Delhi: Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday said that he is carrying home Pakistan's love for India. "I had brought a message of love from India. I am carrying back 100 times the amount of love I had brought from my country," Sidhu said.
"It's our duty that we go back and ask our government to take a step ahead and I hope if we take one step forward, people here will take two steps forward," the Congress leader added.
Sidhu, who had claimed that he will visit Pakistan as a 'goodwill ambassador', was in Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan. The Congress leader was clicked giving a warm hug to the neighbouring country's Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa ahead of the oath-taking ceremony.
"General Bajwa Sahab hugged me and said,'We want peace'. So, let's swim in a blue ocean&shun red ocean. It's my dream,' Sidhu said. "Today morning, General Bajwa came to me and said we were thinking of opening Kartarpur route on 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev"
Media reports suggest that Congress MP Sidhu was received by General Bajwa and other top officials at the President House in Islamabad - the venue of Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony. The two exchanged pleasantries and were seen chatting happily before the start of the event.
While the swearing-in ceremony was underway, Sidhu was spotted sitting next to President of Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK) Masood Khan in the front row.
On Friday, Khan was elected as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan, defeating his rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Shehbaz Sharif. While the 65-year-old cricketer-turned-politician bagged 176 seats, Sharif, the PML-N president and the brother of jailed former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, managed to secure just 96 seats, The Dawn reported.
In the July 25 general elections, the PTI had emerged as the single largest party with 116 seats. The number increased to 158 in the NA after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued notifications of the successful candidates on the reserved seats for women and the minority community on August 11.
Recounting his journey of 22 years from a cricketer to a politician, Khan asserted that no "military dictator nurtured" him and he has reached this height with his own "struggle and accord."
(With inputs from agencies)