Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan should "walk the talk" on peace and take strong action against his minister for his "googly remark", union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said today. Ms Badal was one of the two central ministers representing India at last week's groundbreaking ceremony for the pilgrim corridor to Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan.
Their presence had set off Mr Khan's foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi into showering praises on his boss.
"The world watched, Pakistan watched, that PM Imran Khan bowled a googly at Kartarpur. As a result of the googly, India, that had refused to engage with Pakistan, had to send two ministers to Pakistan," he had bragged in a misplaced reference to Mr Khan's earlier career as a fast bowler in international cricket and and cancelled talks between the two countries.
"Nothing can be more disgusting than this," Ms Badal snapped back in a series of tweets.
I urge Pak PM @ImranKhanPTI to take action against his minister for hurting sentiments of Sikhs and peace efforts by equating attendance at function at Sri Kartarpur Sahib with trapping India by bowling a googly. Nothing can be more disgusting than this./1- Harsimrat Kaur Badal (@HarsimratBadal_) December 2, 2018
.@ImranKhanPTI ji no one should be allowed to play with religious sentiments. Your commitment to peace should'nt be a hollow promise. Please walk the talk & take action against Mehmood Qureshi imm. for politicising religious issue to assuage hurt feelings of Sikhs./2- Harsimrat Kaur Badal (@HarsimratBadal_) December 2, 2018
Imran Khan said that his government and army both want a "civilised relationship" with India, and claimed that the Kashmir dispute can be resolved only through talks and a healthy respect for humanity. "We have one issue - Kashmir. Why can't we resolve this one issue? It needs will," the cricketer-turned-politician said at the launch of the Kartarpur corridor.
He added if India will take one step forward, then Pakistan will take two.
Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, who cited "prior commitments" to decline the Pakistan government's invite for the ceremony, has already slammed her Pakistani counterpart, remarking that his ''googly remark has exposed none but YOU".
"This shows that you have no respect for Sikh sentiments. You only play 'googlies'. Let me explain to you that we were not trapped by your 'googlies'. Our two Sikh Ministers went to Kartarpur Sahib to offer prayers in the Holy Gurudwara," the foreign minister tweeted on Saturday.
Mr Qureshi's remark came after India refused to attend the next SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) meet in Pakistan, citing cross-border terrorism. "Unless Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, there will be no dialogue and we will not participate in SAARC," Ms Swaraj had said.
She had also underscored that bilateral dialogues and Kartarpur corridor are "two different things". "The moment Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, the dialogue can start. But the dialogue is not only connected with Kartarpur corridor," Ms Swaraj said.
In September, India had agreed to a meeting between Sushma Swaraj and Mr Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. But following the killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani terrorists, and the release of postage stamps "glorifying" terrorist Burhan Wani by the Pakistan government, India cancelled the talks.