Navjot Sidhu reveals who permitted him to visit Pakistan

Navjot Sidhu reveals who permitted him to visit Pakistan

NEW DELHI - Indian cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has revealed that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had given him permission to visit Pakistan.

He defended hugging Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his much-talked-about visit to Pakistan to attend Prime Minister Imran Khan’s inauguration.

This is the first time Sidhu has spoken about the incident, which is being termed as an anti-national act by a section of media in India but hailed by most Pakistanis, in detail.

While talking to *India Today* link *, *Sidhu started off by clarifying that he went to Pakistan as Prime Minister Khan’s friend and a goodwill ambassador of peace.

“I went after being invited five to ten times,” he said. “All the official measures were taken … Imran called me and said you must come,” he added.

Sidhu relayed that Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj phoned him on the night of August 14 and said, “*Putar jee teri permission hogaye hay* (son you have the permission).”

He began citing examples of former (late) Indian prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee and incumbent PM Narendra Modi.

New Delhi