NEW DELHI: India's former Foreign Secretary Salman Haidar has rejected the claim of Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi's claim that his Prime Minister Imran Khan had bowled a "googly" to ensure India's presence at the groundbreaking ceremony of Kartarpur corridor on November 28.
"Cricket gives us too many metaphors and images. I see no googlies in all this. It is a sincere effort by both countries, especially from our side, to gratify the sentiments of people in the name of and to celebrate life, huge achievements, love, and affection that have been implicit and projected in the life of Guru Nanak Dev. That is the more important issue. Googlies and so on are entirely secondary," Haidar told ANI.
Hitting out at Qureshi for his recent statement on Kartarpur corridor, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had on Saturday said that "India was not trapped by Pakistan's googlies."
India's two Union Ministers-Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri-had attended the groundbreaking ceremony of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on Pakistan side on November 28, as representatives of the Government of India.
Taking to her Twitter handle, External Affairs Minister Swaraj told Qureshi that his "googly" remark exposed him, and also shows that he has no respect for the sentiments of the Sikh community.
"Foreign Minister of Pakistan-Your 'googly' remark in a dramatic manner has exposed none but YOU. This shows that you have no respect for Sikh sentiments. You only play googlies," Swaraj tweeted.
"Let me explain to you that we were not trapped by your googlies. Our two Sikh Ministers went to Kartarpur Sahib to offer prayers in the holy Gurdwara," she added.
Earlier on Saturday, while addressing the media in poll-bound Rajasthan's Jaipur, Swaraj had asked Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan to clear his stand on the 'googly' remark made by his minister.
"First of all, it was a pious work. There should not be a race of credit. Imran Khan should answer that it was a googly or he had respected the sentiment of Sikhs from all across the world," she asserted.
The foundation stone of the route was laid down by Prime Minister Khan on November 28. The Kartarpur corridor along India-Pakistan border is three kilometres away from Gurdaspur in Punjab.
Once opened, it would allow Sikh pilgrims a direct access to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev died in 1539.