Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who had criticised his minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for hugging Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his visit to Islamabad, on Tuesday said that the cricketer-turned-politician did not understand the implications of his action.
The senior Congress leader further said that Sidhu did nothing wrong in going to Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, as both of them have been friends since their cricketing days.
The Punjab Chief Minister also dismissed the criticism of Sidhu for sitting next to the president of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, saying the former cricketer must not have known the PoK leader.
“I think he did not understand implications. Going for swearing-in is fine, as he is Imran's friend. I also don't blame him for sitting next to the PoK fellow as he would not know who PoK leader is, even I don't know, said Captain Amarinder Singh while speaking to news agency ANI.
Singh, however, reiterated that he had objected to Sidhu hugging the Pakistan Army chief, saying that it’s the leader of the Army who gives orders to forces to kill our Army men.
“I had objected to him hugging Pakistan Army chief. More than 300 of our Army men are killed and wounded every year by Pakistani troops, and order comes from Army Chief and not jawans or any young officer,” said the Punjab Chief Minister.
Soon after Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan in August, Captain Amarinder Singh had categorically criticised the Punjab minister, saying he did wrong by hugging the Pakistani Army chief. “As far as hugging the Pakistan Army Chief is concerned I am not in its favour. It was wrong for him to have shown the affection towards the Pakistan Army Chief,” Singh had said.
Reacting to the criticism, Sidhu had justified his action. “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?” Sidhu had said.