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Khalistani leader Gopal Chawla posts picture with Navjot Singh Sidhu

News Agencies | Updated on: 29 November 2018, 12:45 IST
Navjot Singh Sidhu

Amid the raging controversy surrounding Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu's visit to Pakistan, the cricketer-turned-politician has now landed in a soup after Khalistani leader Gopal Singh Chawla posted a photograph with the Congress leader on social media.

Chawla posted the snap on his Facebook page, where he is seen standing next to Sidhu during the latter's visit to Pakistan for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor.

The foundation stone of the route was laid down by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday. The Kartarpur corridor along the India-Pakistan border is three kilometres away from Gurdaspur in Punjab. Once opened, it would allow Sikh pilgrims a direct access to the historic Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev died in 1539.

The Khalistani leader was also seen meeting and hugging Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Jawed Bajwa at the same event.

Chawla's presence in Pakistan comes at a time when Khalistan separatist groups have already strategised and become active to use the route to push terrorism and separatist activities in India.

A US-based separatist organisation, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), has announced that it would hold "Kartarpur Sahib Convention - 2019" in Pakistan for anti-India propaganda in November 2019 during the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev. The pro-Khalistan outfit has termed the route as a "Bridge to Khalistan".

Sidhu's remarks at the Kartarpur Corridor ceremony also created furore back home as he not only mentioned the Rafale deal controversy in his speech, but also heaped praises on Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The Congress leader had grabbed headlines when he extended a hug to the Pakistani Army Chief at Imran Khan's oath-taking ceremony as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, in August this year.



First published: 29 November 2018, 12:45 IST