Former cricketer Imran Khan took oath as Pakistan’s Prime Minister today. Though many Indians were invited to his oath-taking ceremony, former cricketer and Congress minister of tourism and cultural affairs in Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu was the only one to attend. Former cricketers like Kapil Dev and Suni Gavaskar had declined to attend the ceremony. Sidhu’s decision to attend the ceremony was widely criticised in social media. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had even stated that if Sidhu has mental stability he should not go to Pakistan.
However, Sidhu had travelled to Pakistan via the Attari-Wagah border yesterday and attended Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony there today. Sidhu’s attendance there has been heavily criticised on Indian social media.
During the ceremony, Sidhu was sitting next to the President of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Masood Khan.
Laanat Sidhu saab, laanat. You have been deliberately made to sit next to PoK President…and you did not object. Kis muh say apnay mulk kay logon ko javaab dogey? https://t.co/3rb1QGmnMP
— Smita Prakash (@smitaprakash) August 18, 2018
So, the virat nationalist, Congress leader and Punjab minister Sidhu sits right next to PoK President Masood Khan at the swearing-in ceremony of Pak PM Imran Khan. Congress needs to explain whether it supports the act and gesture of Sidhu. It can’t be in hiding ANYMORE. pic.twitter.com/obtC8x4cTp
— Prashant Kumar (@scribe_prashant) August 18, 2018
Not only did Sidhu seemingly gladly sat beside the President of PoK, he even stood up to embrace Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa, who is known for his frequent vocal attacks against India and is responsible for the deaths of many Indian soldiers and civilians in frequent ceasefire violations carried out by the Pakistan Army.
If shamelessness had a name, it would be Navjot Sidhu. pic.twitter.com/AsptFHSYNd
— Gita S. Kapoor (@GitaSKapoor) August 18, 2018
सिद्धू साहब, शिष्टाचार के तहत हाथ मिलाना समझ में आता है. हत्यारी फ़ौज के चीफ़ के गले क्यों पड़ गए…!!!! अपने शहीदों के परिवारों का ख़याल नहीं आया?
— Manak Gupta (@manakgupta) August 18, 2018
The Congress party had stated earlier that going to Pakistan is a personal decision for Sidhu.
भारतीय सैनिकों की रोज़ हत्या करने वाली फ़ौज के चीफ़ से गले मिलना. PoK के कथित प्रधानमंत्री के बग़ल वाली कुर्सी पे बैठना. सिद्धू को पार्टी ने पाकिस्तान जाने से नहीं रोका, ख़ुद को वहाँ जा के तो थोड़ा रोक लेते! pic.twitter.com/fLo6qqJ4FN
— Rohit Sardana (@sardanarohit) August 18, 2018
As social and mainstream media is rife with criticisms of Sidhu hugging the Pakistan Army Chief, some have hoped that Congress President Rahul Gandhi will at least condemn the act.
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) August 18, 2018
It is notable here that Imran Khan has been a terror apologist and had been sympathetic to the Taliban in the past. As Pakistan has been known to help spread terrorism in India and kills hundreds of Indians every year, Sidhu’s visit to attend the new PM’s oath ceremony and going out of his way to hug the army chief responsible for deaths of hundreds of Indians is generating strong criticism among Indian people.