CHANDIGARH: In yet another attack on Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh on Saturday accused him of "pleasing" his "friend" Pakistan Prime minister Imran Khan "at the cost" of the country's interests.
"Sidhu is pleasing his friend Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the cost of interests of his own country," Chugh alleged.
"On one hand, Pakistan was offering to open Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims and on the other hand, its Army chief was threatening India of dire consequences," Chugh said in a statement here.
"It is highly unfortunate that Sidhu has been praising Prime Minister Imran Khan and thanking him over a proposal which has yet not been officially received by India," he said.
Notably, Sidhu on Friday claimed that Pakistan had decided to allow Sikh pilgrims direct access to the historic Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara just across the border.
Sidhu is rubbing salt into the wounds of the families of soldiers who were martyred during ceasefire violations at the border, Chugh said while lashing out at the cricketer-turned-politician.
"It is strange to note that while Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa threatens India and Sidhu sees peace and harmony in his eyes. Sidhu, in fact, is acting as a spokesperson of Pakistan and undermining the dignity of an elected representative in a state of India," the BJP leader said.
"He has not only dealt a blow to the oath of secrecy he took as a minister in Punjab but is also undermining his duty as an Indian national," Chugh alleged.
The BJP leader said Pakistan had been assuring India of opening Kartarpur corridor but has never cared to keep its word.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was putting in his best efforts to get the corridor opened through proper diplomatic channels, he said.
On Friday, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani attacked the Congress party over Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu's recent controversial visit to Pakistan during which he hugged the neighbouring country's Army Chief General Qamar Jawed Bajwa and was spotted sitting near PoK President.
“Congress chief kept mum on Sidhu Sahab’s trip to Pakistan. Now, what will Congress chief say after Sidhu has returned from Pakistan and Pakistan is speaking against India,” Irani said in Rae Barely.
Accusing the Congress party of a doublespeak, Irani said, ''His (Rahul) silence is understandable, as on one side there is Sidhu goes and hugs Bajwa who is speaking against India and, on the other hand, it is Mani Shankar Aiyar whose candidature cancellation during Gujarat polls was just an eyewash.”
The remarks from Irani came hours after Pakistan Army Chief General Bajwa vowed to avenge the blood of the country’s soldiers being shed on the border.
While addressing the Defence Day ceremony in Rawalpindi to mark the 53rd anniversary of the 1965 war with India, the Pakistan Army Chief said, “We will avenge the blood flowing on the border.”
The remarks were made in the presence of Prime Minister Imran Khan who had earlier said that the country favoured good relations with India and wanted to resolve disputes, including Kashmir, sitting across the table.
(With PTI inputs)