Navjot Singh Sidhu hits back hard at his critics over Pakistan visit
NEW DELHI - Navjot Singh Sidhu, a former star cricketer has hit back hard at his critics over Pakistan Visit.
He defended his recent visit to Pakistan, saying the country is not a “no man’s land”.
“Pakistan is not a no man’s land, thousands come and go,” he said in a news conference on Tuesday, justifying his Pakistan visit that has sparked a backlash from some segments across the border – particularly leadership of the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP).
Sudhir Ojha, a prominent lawyer, also initiated legal proceedings against the cricket celebrity after he was seen hugging Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Not succumbing to pressures by the petitioner or peers, Sidhu said he would present a befitting reply.
Sidhu, who is also a famous TV personality, said the hug was an ’emotional’ response as the COAS had just informed him that Pakistan’s government is making efforts to open a corridor to Kartarpur Sahib, Times of India reported.
According to *Hindustan Times*, allegations leveled against Sidhu were that he had ‘insulted’ families of Indian soldiers by embracing General Qamar at Prime Minister Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony, that too at a time when India mourned former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
In response to this criticism, Sidhu clarified that his seating arrangement was changed at the last minute and that he received prior approval from the Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.
He further argued that Vajpayee had invited the ‘Dosti Bus’ to Lahore, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited Nawaz Sharif to his oath-taking ceremony, so his visit was in the same spirit.
Sidhu further added that he visited Pakistan not as a political agent but as a goodwill ambassador.