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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

It was wrong, says Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on Navjot Singh Sidhu hugging Pakistan Army chief

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh said that as far as Imran Khan’s oath ceremony is concerned, Navjot Singh Sidhu went to Pakistan in his personal capacity.

india Updated: Aug 20, 2018 10:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh with Navjot Singh Sidhu, Jalandhar.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh with Navjot Singh Sidhu, Jalandhar.(Pardeep Pandit/HT File Photo)
         

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said on Sunday he was “not in favour” of Navjot Singh Sidhu hugging the Pakistan Army chief at Imran Khan’s oath ceremony in Islamabad.

“It was wrong for him to have shown affection towards the Pakistan army chief,” Singh told news agency ANI.

Navjot Singh Sidhu had attended Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony on Saturday, where he was seen hugging Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Defending himself, Sidhu, on his return to India, said: “If someone (Bajwa) comes to me and says that we belong to the same culture and we’ll open Kartarpur border on Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th Prakash Parv, what else I could do?”

 

The opposition BJP had termed Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan, especially his hug with Pakistan Army chief as “shameful”. “On one side, the Pakistan army is involved in attacking our soldiers at the border, and on the other, Sidhu is hugging the Pakistan army chief. Does this mean he is thanking him for killing our jawans?” asked Punjab BJP chief Shwait Malik.

The Punjab chief minister went on to clarify that Sidhu’s decision to attend the ceremony had nothing to do with his government, and said the cricketer-turned-politician had gone there in his personal capacity. “As for Sidhu being seated next to the PoK president, maybe he didn’t know who he was,” Amarinder added.

On his being seated beside President of PoK Masood Khan in the front row at the ceremony, Sidhu said: “If you’re invited as a guest of honour somewhere, you sit wherever you are asked to. I was sitting somewhere else but they asked me to sit there.”

Imran Khan was sworn-in as the 22nd premier of the country by Pakistan president Mamnoon Hussain in Islamabad on Saturday. Besides Sidhu, the ceremony was attended by Khan’s wife Bushra Maneka, legendary pacer Wasim Akram and top officials from the Pakistan Army, Air Force and Navy.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Aug 19, 2018 16:37 IST

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