Harsimrat Kaur, who called Sidhu a gaddar, questioned over Pakistan visit

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The attack by Shiromani Akali Dal leader and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu over the latter’s visit to Pakistan in August for the swearing-in ceremony of cricket-turned-politician Imran Khan as the Prime Minister of the country is back to haunt her. With the government deciding to send Harsimrat Kaur Badal to Pakistan to attend the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, the Punjab government has targeted the Union minister, asking as to what “face” she has to go to the neighbouring country. Speaking to news agency ANI, Punjab minister Sukhwinder Singh Randhawa said, “Harsimrat Kaur Badal had called Navjot Singh Sidhu a `qaum ka gaddar`. Now she herself is going to Pakistan, with what face will she go?” The Punjab minister also attacked the Shiromani Akali Dal, alleging that they never took up the Kartarpur Corridor issue even once when they were in power. Pakistan had extended an invitation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, among others, to attend the ground-breaking ceremony of Kartarpur corridor on Wednesday. While the Punjab Chief Minister declined the invite, citing terrorism emanating from Pakistan and killing of Indian soldiers by their army, Sushma Swaraj too expressed her inability to attend the event, which is expected to be hosted by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan himself. The External Affairs Minister, however, declared that two ministers, Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri, would be going to Pakistan for the event as representative of the Indian government. The move has been welcomed by Pakistan, with country’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi terming India’s response of the Kartarpur corridor issue as “positive”. The Pakistani media quoted country’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi as saying that India’s Ministry of External Affairs had “responded well to Pakistan’s initiative to bring the Sikh community closer”. Cricket-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has also been invited for the event, and is currently “awaiting” a response from the Ministry of External Affairs for the same.

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