[image: Sushma Swaraj asks PM Imran to explain his FM’s ‘googly’ remarks]NEW DELHI – Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj seems frustrated over the Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi remarks on the Kartarpur border inauguration and arrival of Indian Ministers in Pakistan. Swaraj on Saturday urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to must clarify Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s recent ‘googly’ remarks, the Indian External Affairs Minister demanded this during a press conference in Jaipur.
Sambit Patra, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson, had also lambasted Pakistan government over Qureshi’s “derogatory remarks”. He said the apparent ‘googly’ played by Pakistan on Kartarpur Corridor has exposed the PM Imran Khan-led Pakistani government. “The usage of words like googly has exposed Pakistan.
The Pakistan Foreign Office released a statement saying the Kartarpur Corridor initiative was taken solely to fulfill the longstanding wishes of “our Sikh brethren” and criticised the “negative propaganda campaign” against the historic move.
“We are deeply dismayed at the relentless negative propaganda campaign being waged by a section of the Indian media against Pakistan on the ‘Kartarpur Corridor’ Initiative,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s statement at a function on Thursday claiming that Khan had “bowled a googly” queered Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s peace pitch. At Pakistan’s invitation, Indian ministers had traveled to Islamabad for the Kartarpur ground-breaking ceremony.
“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 to engage. We are happy they came, as ours is a message of peace,” Qureshi had told an audience of lawmakers and ruling party supporters at a function to mark 100 days of the Khan government.
Though only hours earlier, Qureshi, while addressing a group of Indian journalists invited to Pakistan to cover the Kartarpur ceremony, had said just the opposite: “Let me clarify, the Kartarpur gesture, believe me, had no googly hidden in it.”
The much-awaited corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur – the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev – with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev.