Friday Aug 17, 2018
LAHORE: Former Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu arrived in Pakistan on Friday to attend the oath-taking ceremony of prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan.
Sidhu arrived in Lahore via Wagah border and will travel to Islamabad for the oath-taking ceremony scheduled for August 18.
Speaking to reporters in Lahore, Sidhu welcomed the 'change' in Pakistan brought about by the advent of the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government.
"I have come to Pakistan on my friend's [Imran] invitation. These are very special moments," Sidhu said.
"Hindustan jeevey, Pakistan jeevey!" he chanted.
The ex-cricketer said athletes and artists erase distances [between countries]. "I have come here bearing the message of love, and prayers for Pakistanis," he added.
Imran, a former Pakistan Test captain who founded PTI in 1996, is expected to be sworn in as prime minister on Saturday after his party swept the July 25 general elections.
Earlier this week, former Indian captain Kapil Dev said he will not be attending the oath-taking ceremony, citing ‘personal reasons’.
Dev was one of the three cricketers from India invited to attend the leader’s swearing-in ceremony, along with Sidhu and Sunil Gavaskar.
Gavaskar also declined Imran's invite due to his commentary commitments for the ongoing Test series between England and India.
The newly-elected members of the National Assembly will vote for the country's next prime minister today. Imran Khan is contesting against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shehbaz Sharif, but the race is believed to have been won by the PTI nominee already due to a fallout among opposition parties.