Free Press Journal

Navjot Singh Sidhu’s hug to Pakistan army chief Bajwa turns into controversy


Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has done well to publicly tick off his Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for the latter hugging the Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa during the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan as Prime Minister. Sidhu claimed he went to Islamabad for the ceremony at the invitation of Khan, a fellow ex-cricketer, though both Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, far more successful players than Sidhu, had declined the invitation.

The Punjab CM said that Sidhu had gone in his private capacity, but “what I think was wrong is that given that every day our soldiers are getting martyred on the borders… to hug their army chief was wrong… After all it is the army chief who gives the orders to kill our soldiers on the border…” Given the strong feelings that his gratuitous hug of General Bajwa, who too seemed to be unready for such a show of warmth from the visiting Indian politician, especially when he was in uniform, only underlined yet again Sidhu’s immaturity and a complete lack of appreciation of the current environment between the two neighbouring countries. His desperation to exploit the visit for publicity and a photo-op trumped the need for him to behave like a responsible Indian dignitary. Sidhu further revealed his lack of gravitas by countering his chief minister, insisting that he did nothing wrong. A joker cannot change his stripes, can he?