Nobody questioned Modi when he hugged Nawaz, says Sidhu on hug with Pak Army Chief

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Former cricketer turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu defended his visit to Pakistan for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony and the hug he shared with Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Jawed Bajwa.

Responding to criticism on being seated next to Pakistan Administered Kashmir President Masood Khan, he said, “My seat was changed at the last minute. I was told just 5 minutes before ceremony that I was to be seated on front row. I sat wherever they made me sit.”

He pointed out how former prime minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee had travelled on the bus to Lahore and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi made an unscheduled trip to Lahore in 2015, on his way back from an official visit to Afghanistan. During that trip, Modi had hugged former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif.

“No one is questioning PM Modi,” he said.

In response to criticism from Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, he said, “I was criticised by the Captain, by top Congress leaders. It is not necessary that if the Captain has spoken against me, I should too.”

You can’t, he stated, try to please everybody. “He who tried to, pleases nobody.”

Defending the hug, he said, “The Pak Army chief said they were making efforts to open a corridor from India’s Dera Baba Nanak to the historic Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib. What followed was an emotional moment.”

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Imran Khan, in a tweet, also thanked former cricketer turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu’s attendance in the oath-taking and said that those who targeted him were doing a ‘great disservice to peace in the subcontinent’.

Earlier, Amarinder Singh slammed Sidhu after he hugged Pakistan Army Chief during Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony, PTI reported.

“Everyday our jawans are getting martyred. To hug their Chief General Bajwa…I am against this. The fact is that the man should understand that our soldiers are being killed every day,” he told news agency ANI.

In response, Sidhu defended himself by saying, ““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?”

Earlier, while talking to reporters after his arrival to Pakistan, Sidhu said he had come to the country “with a message of love” to become a part of Khan’s happiness.

He said he was saddened by the demise of former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who he recalled had started the friendship bus service between the two countries. He said he had brought a Kashmiri shawl as a gift for the PM-in-waiting.

Senior BJP Leader Subramaniam Swamy slammed Sidhu on for his plan to travel to Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of PM-in-waiting Imran Khan. Swamy to news agency ANI said, “This visit would be a big blow to his political career, people will call it treachery and if he is mentally sound and stable he should not do the same.”


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