Union Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal has claimed that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj “reprimanded” cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu over the Congress leader’s recent visit to Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of country’s newly-elected Prime Minister Imran Khan.
According to Harsimrat, Sushma Swaraj reprimanded the Congress leader for “messing up” the issue of Kartarpur Sahib corridor and “misusing” political clearance by hugging Pakistani Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Taking to microblogging site Twitter, the Union Minister for Food Processing said, “External Affairs Minister reprimands Navjot Sidhu for messing up Kartarpur Sahib corridor dialogue and misusing political clearance granted for private visit by hugging military Chief responsible for killing our soldiers.”
External Affairs Minister reprimands Navjot Sidhu for messing up Kartarpur Sahib corridor dialogue and misusing political clearance granted for private visit by hugging military Chief responsible for killing our soldiers.
— Harsimrat Kaur Badal (@HarsimratBadal_) September 17, 2018
Sidhu had triggered a political storm back home when he visited Islamabad to attend the swearing-in ceremony of his friend and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan as the Prime Minister of Pakistan on August 18. During the ceremony, he had hugged the Pakistan Army chief, pictures and videos of which went viral on social media.
Among others, Sidhu was also criticised by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who said that his cabinet member did not possibly understand the implications of his actions when he hugged General Bajwa.
“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,” the Punjab Chief Minister had said.
Following his visit to Pakistan, the Congress leader had claimed that he had been virtually instrumental in getting the Kartarpur corridor opened to public. He had even written a letter to Sushma Swaraj over the issue, urging the Indian government to take steps on the issue.
“It is time for India to take a positive step on this highly emotional issue. When opportunity knocks, kindly step up and open the door. The opening of this corridor will be a huge thing for Sikh community all over the world. The corridor can usher in peace and prosperity between the two countries,” Sidhu had said in his letter to the External Affairs Minister.