Sidhu's 'seat and hug' at Imran Khan's swearing-in sparks row
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu sat next to Masood Khan, the President of Pak-occupied-Kashmir, during the swearing-in ceremony of newly elected Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Sidhu, who said he was attending the function keeping politics aside since Khan was a friend, also hugged Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. His actions have sparked a row, of sorts, in India.
Sidhu was one of the few people invited by PTI for the event. Notably, a beaming Sidhu didn't sit with other foreign dignitaries at the event, which was held at Aiwan-e-Sadr Hall of President's House. He was seated next to Masood Khan. Before the function, Sidhu praised Imran Khan and said people like him created history and that he was honored to be invited.
"People who build relationships are respected, people who break them are disrespected and I am one of those who respect relationships. It's a new dawn. This government has come to change this country's perception, picture and destiny, with high hopes and expectations," Sidhu said today.
It should be noted that after PTI emerged as the single largest party, India's foreign ministry hoped for a prosperous relationship with Pakistan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated Khan. But Sidhu's friendly demeanour raised concerns. "He is a responsible person and a minister. Only he can explain, but yes he could have avoided this," said Ghulam Ahmed Mir, J&K Congress Chief, said.
The man who led Pakistan to win the first cricket world cup has now donned a new hat. In his campaign, Imran Khan said he would bring progressive days to the country. He faces many challenges including the military's shadow on the government. As far as India is concerned, Khan spoke about improving relations and said the Indian government holds the key for it.