Sidhu hugs Pak Army chief, BJP cries foul

Congress' Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was seen hugging Pak army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and later seen sitting with Pak-Occupied-Kashmir President Masood Khan. PTI file photo

Congress' Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday landed in fresh controversy after he attended Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony, where he was seen hugging Pak army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and later seen sitting with Pak-Occupied-Kashmir President Masood Khan.

BJP was quick to raise questions about cricketer-turned-politician's visit to Pakistan to attend the swearing-in of Khan, an iconic cricketer who stormed to power in the recent elections. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra accused Congress of having a string of leaders who speak against "national spirit".

"The Congress leader has gone and hugged those people who are responsible for terrorist acts in the country. Did Navjot Singh Sidhu take permission from the Congress party before deciding to visit Pakistan to attend Imran Khan's oath-taking ceremony? Is Congress going to suspend Navjot Singh Sidhu before he steps into India?" Patra asked at a press conference.

Sidhu was seated in the front row next to Masood Khan and was warmly embraced by General Bajwa.

BJP leader and Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij also criticised Sidhu. Vij claimed Sidhu's participation in the Pak ceremony was an "act of disloyalty" towards India, which "will not be endorsed by any patriotic citizen".

"The Union government has announced a seven-day national mourning following the death of former prime minister Vajpayee, but Sidhu preferred to join the swearing-in ceremony of Khan in Pakistan, ignoring the sentiment and grief in his country," Vij said.

"Sidhu's visit to Pakistan is shameful. The Pakistan army was involved in attacking our soldiers on the border and Sidhu was hugging the Army chief. Does it mean he was thanking him for killing our jawans?" asked Punjab BJP chief Shwait Malik.

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Sidhu hugs Pak Army chief, BJP cries foul

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