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Amarinder ticks off Sidhu for hugging Pak army chief

Source: PTI
Last updated on: August 19, 2018 20:17 IST

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday ticked off his cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu for hugging Pakistan army chief at the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan as the prime minister of the neighbouring country, terming his act as 'wrong'.

"I think that was wrong for him to have shown the affection he did for the Pakistani army chief," Amarinder Singh told reporters in Chandigarh, when asked for his comment on Sidhu hugging the Pak Army chief on Saturday.


Sidhu, who returned from Pakistan on Sunday, was the only Indian, who attended Khan's swearing-in ceremony on an invitation by the cricketer-turned-politician.

Besides hugging Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Sidhu was also seen sitting next to the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) President Masood Khan, at the event.

On Sidhu being seated next to the PoK chief, Amarinder, however, gave him the benefit of doubt, saying he might not have known who he was.

To another question, Amarinder said Sidhu had gone to Pakistan in his personal capacity.

Meanwhile, 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.

"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?" he said.

On the issue of his sitting next to the PoK chief in the front row, 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."

Sidhu was among the special guests present at the oath-taking ceremony at the Aiwan-e-Sadr (the President House) in Islamabad on Saturday on the invitation of Imran Khan.
Khan, who famously captained his national cricket team to the

World Cup glory in 1992, had invited some of his former teammates and friends to witness his formal accession to the top job in Pakistan.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Akali Dal have also hit out at Sidhu for visiting Pakistan, ignoring the sentiments of the people of his country, mourning the demise of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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