Former Indian cricket captain and commentator Kapil Dev on Thursday said that he would definitely go to Pakistan to attend Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony if he is invited. The World Cup winning Indian skipper, however, said that his visit would be subject to the approval of the government. Dev’s remarks came over reports that the former Pakistan cricketer-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has invited a number of personalities apart from Kapil Dev, which include Sunil Gavaskar, Navjot Singh Sidhu, and Aamir Khan among others.
“I haven’t checked yet about the invitation, but if I will get the invite then I will surely go there (Pakistan) for the oath ceremony (of Imran Khan), considering Government approval,” the 1983 world Cup winning captain said when asked.
On Wednesday, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu called Imran Khan a man of character and said he will attend the swearing-in ceremony. The Punjab minister was among the first to confirm about his invitation. Imran Khan will take oath as next prime minister of Pakistan on August 11. “It is great honour, 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. Sportsmen build bridges, break barriers, unite people,” Sidhu had said.
During his speech after his party’s win in the July 25 elections in Pakistan, Imran Khan spoke about the warm relations he share with India since his cricketing days. “I am a person who arguably knows the most people in India because of my days in cricket. We can resolve the poverty crisis in South East Asia,” he was quoted as saying.
In the meantime, the PTI on Thursday said that except few close friends of Imran Khan, no foreign leader will be invited for his swearing-in ceremony. Khan will take oath in at Aiwan-e-Sadr (President House), party spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said.
“It has been decided that no foreign personalities will be invited to the ceremony — it will be a completely national event. Only a few close friends of Imran Khan will be invited,” he was quoted to have said.