Shiromani Akali Dal National spokesperson and Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) General Secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa has condemned Navjot Singh Sidhu for his conduct in Pakistan and criticised Congress for not taking any action for the same. He called this act a planned conspiracy sketched out by Pakistan.
“We have been saying since the beginning, Sidhu is being used by the Pakistan government. I don’t know if he’s in agreement with them or is it unintentional. But yes, there is a well-planned strategy of Pakistan’s ISI to use Sidhu as a tool,” the Akali Dal leader said.
Sirsa confirmed that when he went to Pakistan he too was persuaded by them to support Khalistan and Pakistan, but Sirsa had turned down the proposal then and had responded by saying that “I am loyal to my country”.
He further said that Pakistan is scheming something big against India. He said, “This is a strategised case, it should not be viewed in isolation. The way Pakistan stop Indian High Commissions from entering Gurudwaras, Khalistan slogans, and posters are carried in Pakistan.”
“There is some kind of hidden agenda by ISI and Bajwa. It is a collective attack on India using a different angle,” he added.
Speaking of Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh’s decision to reject the invitation to Pakistan he said, “Captain Amarinder took a stand but what’s the point if there is no action. Just saying on a TV channel is a different thing and doing something is a different thing. A member from his Cabinet is going to Pakistan, praising the Army chief Bajwa who is responsible for killing innocent people of our country. But Sidhu is not condemning his actions, and now he’s joining hands with Gopal Singh Chawla and denying it now.”
Punjab Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh had earlier turned down Pakistan’s invitation saying that due to continued terrorist attacks in Punjab, killings of Indian soldiers by armed forces of Pakistan, he will not be attending the event. He said, “not a day passes when Indian soldiers are not killed or wounded on the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir,” adding that “rather than moving towards normalcy these incidents are escalating.” He had also accused ISI of starting its “nefarious activities within Punjab.”
Congress Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had keenly accepted the invitation extended towards him by Pakistan Foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Though recently, Army Chief Bipin Rawat had stated that external forces are attempting to revive the Khalistani insurgency in Punjab and the US government had recently declared Babbar Khalsa, the Sikh terror group as a threat to American interests, Siddhu, during his visit was seen posing with Kalistani terrorist Gopal Chawla.
He was also seen smiling when Pakistan Prime minister, Imran Khan invited Sidhu to contest elections in Pakistan, saying that he would surely win if he did. On this, Sirsa added that Sidhu hurt Indian sentiments and proved where his loyalties stand, by not voicing his disapproval, “When Imran Khan asked Sidhu to stand for elections from Pakistan, in no way did he say that he’s a proud India and even though he’s friends with them his loyalties are with his country. And he’s smiling there.”
Sidhu had earlier stoked a controversy when he was spotted hugging Pakistani army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa during his Islamabad visit to attend the oath taking ceremony of his cricket-ground rival Imran Khan.
What is shocking here is that the Congress party, who otherwise leaves no opportunity to take a jibe at others has been tongue-tied during this entire episode. In fact, on several occasions, members of the Congress have been seen defending Sidhu for his ill-advised actions.
Congress leader Pratap Singh Bajwa on Wednesday defended Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, saying that Sidhu visited Pakistan in his personal capacity and the onus of what he says there lies on him alone.