Imran Khan oath-taking: Sidhu issues clarification to Opposition's 'deplorable act' charge

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 19, 2018, 04:08 PM(IST)

Navjot Singh Sidhu returns to India after attending the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan as Pakistan Prime Minister in Islamabad on Saturday Photograph:( ANI )

After sparking a row back home by attending Imran Khan's oath-taking ceremony in Islamabad on Saturday, cricketer-turned-politician and  Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu issued clarifications on some of the issues raised by BJP. 

On the allegation that he sat right beside  President of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) Masood Khan in the front row, Sidhu said If you're invited as a guest of honour somewhere, you sit wherever you are asked to. ''I was sitting somewhere else but they asked me to sit there,'' he said. 

On hugging Pakistan Army chief, Sidhu said ''If someone (In this case Pakistan 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 returned to India after attending the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan as Pakistan Prime Minister in Islamabad yesterday. 

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BJP on Saturday launched a vitriolic attack on Navjot Singh Sidhu for his "deplorable act" of hugging Pakistan Army chief at the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan as Pakistan's Prime Minister and asked Rahul Gandhi if he would suspend the leader for doing so.

Speaking at a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) President Masood Khan was seated next to Sidhu but the latter did not object to it. 

The Congress, however, downplayed the matter.

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Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala did not reply to a question on the Punjab minister embracing Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the event today.

Asked to comment on Haryana minister Anil Vij's statement that Sidhu was attending the oath-taking event amid fanfare at a time the nation was mourning, Surjewala said, "You should not take him seriously. It will be better". 

Patra, however, said Congress had committed a "big crime" and it cannot wash its hands off the issue by describing it as an "individual's act". 

"This is a very serious issue. Congress president Rahul Gandhi should hold a press conference and say if he supports Sidhu's act. If not, what is the action he is taking? Will he immediately suspend Sidhu before his arrival back home? The country wants a clear answer," Patra said.

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Sidhu is the only Indian to attend Khan's swearing-in ceremony. He was seen sitting next to PoK chief and hugging Bajwa at the event. 
 

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