Sidhu under fire in India for hugging Pakistan’s army chief

Published: August 18, 2018
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BJP chief in Indian Punjab asks Sidhu to apologise over ‘unacceptable act’. SCREENGRAB

BJP chief in Indian Punjab asks Sidhu to apologise over ‘unacceptable act’. SCREENGRAB

At times it appears that Indian media doesn’t want normalisation between Pakistan and India.

It feeds on anti-Pakistan controversies. It is always on the lookout for opportunities to spark controversies and ignite tempers in a bid to disrupt any attempt of creating bonhomie between the two countries.

The latest example of this myopism was the visit of former Indian cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu to Pakistan, where he was invited at the inauguration of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

At the swearing-in ceremony, Sidhu was seated next to Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Masood Khan, while Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa also hugged him during a brief chit-chat.

Sidhu, who attended Imran’s swearing-in in his capacity as a friend of the cricketer-turned-prime minister, was visibly overjoyed by the love he received in Pakistan.

“Gen Bajwa sahab hugged me and said, ‘We want peace’. So, let’s swim in a blue ocean and shun red ocean. It’s my dream,” Sidhu said at a news conference after the swearing-in ceremony.

Imran Khan is heartthrob to millions: Navjot Singh Sidhu

The Indian media, however, turned the event into a huge controversy, triggering protests against Sidhu in India where his effigies were burnt by irate Indians.

Indian television anchors provoked politicians to call for action to be taken by the Congress – the party to which he belongs. The Indian media claimed that Sidhu had been seated next to the AJK president on purpose.

The opposition in Indian Punjab’s state assembly also targeted Sidhu for attending the swearing-in of Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan is shameful,” said Punjab BJP chief Shwait Malik.

“On one side the Pakistan army is involved in attacking our soldiers at the border and on the other side Sidhu was hugging the army chief. Does it mean he was thanking him for killing our jawans,” Malik said.

He called Sidhu an ‘opportunist’ and asked him to tender an apology over his “unacceptable act”.

However, there were some sane voices too that appreciated the gesture and criticised the hullabaloo in the Indian media.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • MSS
    Aug 19, 2018 - 11:07AM

    There is nothing wrong in spreading a message of peace. BJP said nothing when Modi went to Raiwind. Some narrow minded people always look for negatives.Recommend

  • AJ
    Aug 19, 2018 - 1:33PM

    @MSS:
    Problem is that it isn’t ‘some narrow minded people’. They are now in majority and they dictate the Hindutva narrative in Hindustan. Recommend

  • Waqas
    Aug 19, 2018 - 3:22PM

    @indians. I think we should term it as “jadu ki japphi”. Hug of magic as munna bhai puts itRecommend

  • Vipin Barolia
    Aug 20, 2018 - 4:33PM

    Pure dirty politics by BJP. Shame.Recommend

  • Hoshiar singh Gill
    Dec 20, 2018 - 11:35PM

    Narrow minded people see conspiracies where there are non! When you are a guest in someone’s home the most natural gesture is to hug them ! Media can be so biased !Recommend

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