Imran Khan is heartthrob to millions: Navjot Singh Sidhu after reaching Pakistan
Sidhu is expected to reach Islamabad on Friday evening to be present at Khan’s oath-taking.
Updated - Aug 17, 2018 6:09 pm
Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday, August 17, reached Lahore via the Wagah Border to attend the swearing-in of Imran Khan as the next prime minister of Pakistan on August 18. The 54-year-old, currently a cabinet minister in the Punjab government, was invited by Khan. Other former Indian captains Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev were also invited for the ceremony but they turned it down citing pre-planned engagements.
Sidhu praised 65-year-old Khan as a “heartthrob to millions” on his arrival in Pakistan and said the current political situation is a special moment for the nation. Imran’s Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf emerged as the single largest party in the July 25 elections in the country and the cricketer-turned-politician turned out to be the frontrunner as the prime minister. The voting for the prime minister, the 22nd incumbent, was underway on Friday.
In Pakistan on Imran’s invitation
“Imran Khan is heartthrob to millions. I have come to Pakistan on [Imran’s] invitation,” the former Indian opening batsman said.
“I have come to Pakistan with a message of love and consider these moments very special as a change has occurred in the democracy of Pakistan,” Sidhu said, according to a report in The Express Tribune. Sidhu was granted a 14-day Pakistani visa on Wednesday, August 15, by the High Commission in New Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
“I’m not here as a politician but as a friend of Khan,” Sidhu added.
Sidhu is expected to reach Islamabad on Friday evening to be present at Khan’s oath-taking. He will also meet the next PM at the capital before leaving for Lahore on Sunday, August 19, and travel back to India via Wagah the same day.
Sidhu played 51 Tests for India in his career and four out of them were against Pakistan. In seven innings that he played against the arch-rivals, all on their soil in 1989, Sidhu scored 269 runs at an average of 38 plus. His scores included three half-centuries with the highest being 97 made in Sialkot.