PM Imran distances himself from Pak foreign minister's 'googly' remark

Pakistan PM Imran Khan. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 03, 2018, 04.31 PM (IST)

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday seemed to separate himself from his foreign minister's remark that he played a "googly" to guarantee Indian government's presence at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of historical Kartarpur corridor.

In an interview with a Pakistani news channel, he said: "Kartarpur corridor is no "googly" but a simple decision done on the humanitarian ground."

"There are no hidden or deceiving agendas behind opening the Kartarpur border, " Imran added.

Earlier on Sunday, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi defended his controversial "googly" comments, which drew sharp criticism from India, saying that linking his remarks to "Sikh sentiments" was misleading.

On Thursday, Qureshi had said Prime Minister Imran Khan bowled a "googly" to ensure Indian government's presence at the groundbreaking ceremony of the landmark Kartarpur corridor.

Qureshi's remarks drew strong criticism from external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, who came down heavily on her Pakistani counterpart saying his comments "exposed" him and that Pakistan has "no respect for Sikh sentiments".

Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal also took exception to Qureshi's remarks and warned Pakistan that it should not use the Kartarpur corridor issue and religion to fulfil its "evil designs" of vitiating the peaceful atmosphere in India and particularly in Punjab.

She said the issue was a matter of faith and there is no scope for "one-upmanship" and "petty politics" on it.

(With inputs from PTI)

Story highlights

On Thursday, Qureshi had said Prime Minister Imran Khan bowled a "googly" to ensure Indian government's presence at the groundbreaking ceremony of the landmark Kartarpur Corridor.