Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s demise turned out to be one of the saddest moments in India’s independent history. People from all walks of life mourned the demise of the former prime minister. Politicians cutting across party lines paid respects to one of the most respected statesmen India ever produced and it seemed as if the entire nation was engulfed in a feeling of sadness. However, there was one politician who had his priorities elsewhere. It was Navjot Singh Sidhu, a cricketer-turned politician and a Congress minister in Punjab who seemed to be unfazed by Atal ji’s demise and enthusiastically attended the oath taking ceremony of Imran Khan, the new Pakistani prime minister. To top it off, he not only enthusiastically hugged the Pakistan army chief but also sat next to the prime minister of PoK.
Laanat Sidhu saab, laanat. You have been deliberately made to sit next to PoK President…and you did not object. Kis muh say apnay mulk kay logon ko javaab dogey? https://t.co/3rb1QGmnMP
— Smita Prakash (@smitaprakash) August 18, 2018
Sidhu not only unabashedly attended the oath taking ceremony of the new prime minister of the terrorist nation but also appeared to be exceedingly enthusiastic about the same. At the ceremony, he was seen exchanging pleasantries with Pakistani Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and even hugged him. Sidhu appears to have forgotten that he was hugging the chief of an Army that regularly conspires with terror outfits to destabilise India. The typical Congress syndrome of embracing India baiting Pakistanis was therefore at display.
However, this was not the only act by Navjot Singh Sidhu which showed his objectionable affection for Pakistan but he also chose to sit next to the president of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), Masood Khan, clearly impinging upon India’s claim upon Kashmir. Either he is totally ignorant about the Kashmir dispute or he does not care for India’s interests therein. In either case, it is shocking how a public representative and a minister made such a blunder.
While leaving for Pakistan, Navjot Singh Sidhu had stoked yet another controversy and had stated that he was going to the other side of the border as a “goodwill ambassador”. It is surprising and laughable how he gave himself this status. He also said that, “these moments of democratic change in Pakistan are very important. I feel lucky that Imran Khan, being a friend, invited me. It is an honour for me. I am going to Pakistan as a goodwill ambassador. I am going there with the hope that relations between our two nations will improve.” Navjot Singh Sidhu proclaimed that Pakistan is embracing a democratic change despite the fact that Imran Khan is seen as having the support of Pakistani military which led to his election as the Pakistani prime minister. He was seen as the Army’s man not only in India but also in Pakistan. It is clear that Sidhu lost sight of ground realities in his desperation to visit Pakistan and to talk in the language of peace.
It is shameful how Navjot Singh Sidhu disrespected the departed soul when the entire nation was mourning the demise of the statesman. He has shown that his priorities lie with the terrorist neighbour instead of the former prime minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. One cannot help but wonder about the futility of an Indian politician going across to Pakistan and talking in the language of peace with a country that routinely conspires, nefarious designs to take down India. Politicians should understand how sensitive matters are to be handled. The Congress should also issue a warning to Navjot Singh Sidhu not to keep Pakistan above India in his priorities.