Sidhu defends hugging Pakistan army chief

Meanwhile, a handful of activists of an outfit named "Pagri Sambaal Jatta" held a protest close to the border when Sidhu arrived from Pakistan.

PTI
Attari (Amritsar), Publish Date: Aug 20 2018 1:22AM | Updated Date: Aug 20 2018 1:22AM
Sidhu defends hugging Pakistan army chiefFile Photo

Facing flak for hugging Pakistan's Army chief at the swearing-in of Imran Khan as the neighbouring country's prime minister, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu defended his action asking what was he supposed to do if someone says we belong to the same culture and talks of opening the route to the historic Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib.

Sidhu, who returned from Pakistan via the Wagah-Attari border today, was the only Indian who attended Khan's swearing-in ceremony at Islamabad yesterday. He was seen sitting next to PoK chief Masood Khan and hugging Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Asked about hugging Bajwa, Sidhu told reporters here that "if someone (Pak army chief) comes to me and says that we belong to the same culture and we'll open the route to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib (in Pakistan) on first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev's 550th birth anniversary, what else I could do?"

On the issue of his sitting next to the PaK chief in the front row at Imran Khan's oath ceremony, the Congress leader replied, "If you are 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".

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, a former army man, had today ticked off his Cabinet colleague Sidhu for hugging the Pakistan army chief, terming the act as "wrong" while opposition parties, including the BJP, have also criticised the cricketer-turned politician.

Meanwhile, a handful of activists of an outfit named "Pagri Sambaal Jatta" held a protest close to the border when Sidhu arrived from Pakistan.

The activists holding placards against Sidhu also showed black flags to the minister's cavalcade.  

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