Indian cricketers to attend Imran Khan’s oath ceremony


NEW DELHI: Certain Indian cricketers will attend the oath ceremony of Imran Khan in Islamabad.Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday said that Pakistan Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan’s invite for the oath-taking ceremony is a personal one.
While addressing a press conference here, Sidhu said, “He (Imran Khan) has risen from the scratch in politics, he has exhibited great character. I see him as a ray of hope.”
“It is a huge honour for me. It is a personal invitation from him and not a political one. I respect the foreign policy of the Government (of India) and the country, but this is a personal invitation. I believe sports persons and artistes break barriers,” he added.
Sidhu said on Wednesday that he would attend the swearing-in-ceremony of Imran Khan which is scheduled on August 11.
Calling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief as ‘a man of character’, Sidhu asserted that the leader could be trusted. “It is a great honour and I accept the invitation. Men of genius are admired, men of power are feared but men of character are trusted. Khan Sahab is a man of character. He can be trusted,” Sidhu said.
Imran Khan has also invited former Indian cricketers Sunil Gavaskar along with actor Aamir Khan for his oath-taking ceremony.
In Islamabad, the PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry talking to media said the party has also asked the Foreign Office (FO) to inform it whether foreign heads of state, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, could be invited for the event.
However, the response from the FO in the matter is still awaited.
Rajiv Shukla
Chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Rajiv Shukla on Thursday said that he has no objection with cricketers attending the swearing-in-ceremony of Pakistan Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan.
“If he (Imran Khan) is inviting his friends in a personal capacity and I think if they go, then why should anyone object?” Shukla said.  “They are entitled to go,” he added.
Kapil Dev, who was reportedly invited for the ceremony, said that he would attend the function with the approval of the Indian government, if invited.