Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh publicly censured his minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s act of embracing Pakistani Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa reminding the cricketer-turned-politician that the man he hugged is responsible for the killing of Indian soldiers at the border.
“Everyday our jawans are getting martyred. To hug their Chief General Bajwa…I am against this. The fact is that the man (Sidhu) should understand that our soldiers are being killed every day,” the 76-year-old Punjab Chief Minister said.
Singh, a senior leader of the Congress and a former Indian Army officer, was responding to a question on Sidhu’s decision to go across the border to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“To say that ‘I don’t know General Bajwa’…it is written on his uniform. That’s wrong for him (Sidhu) to have shown the affections he did for the Pakistan Army Chief,” said the Punjab CM in strong words.
“My own regiment lost 1 Major and 2 jawans a few months ago and every day somebody is being shot; whether the man who pulled the trigger is to blame or the man who gives the order, which is the chief. And the chief is General Bajwa,” Singh said.
He added that Sidhu’s decision to go to Pakistan was taken in “his personal capacity”. He also said that Sidhu may not have known that the man he was sitting next to at the ceremony, which was held in the Presidential House in Islamabad, was the so-called ‘president’ of Pak-occupied-Kashmir Masood Khan.
Upon his return from Pakistan earlier today, Sidhu, a Congress leader, defended his decision of hugging General Bajwa.
“If someone (Pak Army Chief General 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?” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
He also claimed that he was asked to sit next to Khan at the ceremony and he had to oblige because he was a guest of honour.