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Amarinder ticks off Sidhu for hugging Pakistan army chief

Amarinder ticks off Sidhu for hugging Pakistan army chief
Volunteers of Pagdi Sambhal Jatta stage protest against Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for visiting Pakistan for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony.
Chandigarh, Aug 19 (IANS) | Publish Date: 8/19/2018 11:35:59 AM IST

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday said his Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s hug to Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa in Islamabad was “not a nice gesture and was completely avoidable”.

Sidhu should have avoided indulging in such a gesture when Indian soldiers are getting killed every day on the borders, the Chief Minister told reporters here.

“After all, it is the Army chief who gives orders to kill, with soldiers merely following the order,” the Chief Minister said.

“Bajwa is responsible for the deaths of our soldiers and Sidhu should not have shown such niceties towards him,” Amarinder Singh said.

As for Sidhu sitting next to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) President Masood Khan at the swearing-in of Imran Khan as Prime Minister of Pakistan, Amarinder Singh said that the former cricketer “possibly did not know who he was and in any case the seating arrangement was not in his hands”.

The Chief Minister, however, dismissed opposition’s demand for Sidhu’s resignation.

As for Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan for the swearing-in ceremony, Amarinder Singh said it was in his personal capacity due to his close relations with Imran Khan from their cricketing days.

The Chief Minister said he will meet his counterparts from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh on Monday to discuss and draw a joint strategy to combat drug abuse.

He had accepted the invite for the meeting from Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday.

Underlining the need for collective efforts to counter the drug menace, Amarinder Singh said that he had initiated the process several weeks ago with a letter to the Chief Ministers of the neighbouring states.

“No state can afford to ignore the drug abuse issue, which has extremely dangerous implications for our future generations,” he added.

 

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