Chandigarh, Aug 12: Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday confirmed that he would be attending the swearing-in ceremony of Pakistan Prime Minister-elect Imran Khan.
The Punjab Information & Broadcasting Ministry, which is headed by Sidhu, issued a statement today saying the Minister has conveyed to the Chief Minister's Office and the Union Home Ministry that he would be travelling to Islamabad to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Pakistan PM-in-waiting.
The statement issued by the Ministry further claimed that Khan, in his telephonic conversation with Sidhu earlier in the day, thanked the latter for praising him at a press conference earlier in the month.
The phone call from Khan came days after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which won the general elections held last month, had issued two contradictory statements. After inviting Sidhu, along with two other former cricketers - Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev - the party said it has rescinded the invitation as the oath-taking will be an austere event.
The roll-back of the invitation came as a major embarrassment to Sidhu, who had called the media and expressed his delight on being invited by Khan. In his statement to the press, Sidhu had described Khan as a "man of character" who will "change the fate of Pakistan".
The swearing-in ceremony, which was earlier scheduled on August 11, was postponed to August 18 on Friday. The event will be held at the President's House in Islamabad.
From India, only three individuals have been invited - Sidhu, Dev and Gavaskar. While Gavaskar has turned down the invite citing professional obligations, Dev said he would wait for the government's approval.