India’s cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday responded to all the criticism he has been receiving following his hugging Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his recent visit to Pakistan.
“Whenever the reply has to be given, I will give and I will give it to all … It will be a strong reply,” said the former Indian star cricketer who was invited by Prime Minister Imran Khan on his oath-taking ceremony.
At the swearing-in ceremony, Sidhu was seated next to Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Masood Khan, while General Qamar also hugged him during a brief chit-chat which triggered heavy criticism from people and politicians back home.
Earlier today, Sidhu’s fellow party member and Indian Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh opposed his ‘act’.
“I think it was wrong for Sidhu to show the affection he did for the Pakistan Army chief. I am not in its favour. Sidhu should understand that our soldiers are being killed every day,” the Punjab CM said.
Sidhu, who returned back on Sunday, defended his action and asked the critics what was he supposed to do when someone tells him “we belong to the same culture” and speaks about opening the route to the historic Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib.
Sidhu, who attended Imran’s swearing-in in his capacity as a friend of the cricketer-turned-prime minister, was visibly overjoyed by the love he received in Pakistan.
“Gen Bajwa sahab hugged me and said, ‘We want peace’. So, let’s swim in a blue ocean and shun red ocean. It’s my dream,” Sidhu said at a news conference.