Newly sworn-in Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday defended Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, facing a flak for his Pakistan visit, saying people targeting the former cricketer were doing “disservice to peace”.
"Those in India who targeted him (Sidhu) are doing a great disservice to peace in the subcontinent. He was an ambassador of peace and was given amazing love and affection by people of Pakistan," Khan wrote in a series of tweets.
The response from Khan came after the Opposition BJP in Punjab criticised Sidhu for attending his oath taking ceremony as new Pakistan Prime Minister and hugging Pak Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
I want to thank Sidhu for coming to Pakistan for my oath taking. He was an ambassador of peace & was given amazing love & affection by ppl of Pakistan. Those in India who targeted him are doing a gt disservice to peace in the subcontinent - without peace our ppl cannot progress— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 21, 2018
Sidhu had gone to Pakistan to attend his “close friend” Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony as Pakistan Prime Minister held on Saturday in Islamabad. He was the only Indian among the three cricketer friends invited by Imran Khan. During the ceremony, Sidhu was seen hugging General Bajwa and sat next to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) President Mansoor Khan.
Speaking to reporters upon his arrival at Attari-Wagah border, Sidhu defended himself saying that “if you are invited as the guest of honour somewhere, you sit wherever you are asked to. I was sitting somewhere else when they asked me to sit beside PoK President Masood Khan.”
When asked to explain his hug to Pak Army Chief, Sidhu clarified that he could not do anything else after Bajwa said that Pakistan will open Kartarpur border on Guru Nanak Dev’s 550 Prakash Parv.
“If someone (Pak Army Chief General Bajwa) comes to me&says that we belong to the same culture & we'll open Kartarpur border on Guru Nanak Dev's 550th Prakash Parv, what else I could do?” the Congress leader said.