Amid the controversy over Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu's visit to Pakistan for the Kartarpur Corridor foundation stone-laying ceremony where he not only shook hands with Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, but also interacted with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed's aide and Khalistani leader Gopal Singh Chawla, the Congress party has refused to reprimand or condemn Sidhu for his actions.
Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, on Thursday, made a brazen statement while responding to the questions of the media in the matter.
Stating that Sidhu went in his 'personal capacity' to Pakistan, as it was made clear by Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad asserted that the Congress leader went to the neighbouring more as a sportsman supporting his 'friend' Imran Khan, rather than a politician.
"I think that the Chief Minister has made it clear that he has gone in his personal capacity. You must understand that half Punjab is this side, half Punjab is that side and they have very cultural relations. Their language is same since Punjab is both this side and that side. Moreover, he has been a sportsman, more than a politician. He has been a sportsman throughout. And whether it is an artist from this side or that side, they are being appreciated from both the sides. So, he has gone in his personal capacity. I don't think it has to affect anyone."
Earlier on Thursday, Gopal Singh Chawla, a pro-Khalistani leader, took to his social media and even shared a picture with Punjab minister Sidhu in which he referred to him in as his 'brother'. This is after Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had named Chawla as a terrorist while speaking to Republic TV.
Later speaking to Republic TV, Chawla confirmed on meeting with Sidhu and regarded the Congress leader as 'a close friend' of Pakistan PM Imran Khan.
Sidhu is the messenger of love. If you will criticize Sidhu then it means you are criticizing God. He is a very close friend('jigri yaar') of our Pakistan's Prime Minister. Kartarpur Corridor was like a gift to him from Imran Khan. He came and he spread love in Pakistan. Don’t know why you media guys criticise him always. You should praise him. It’s only because of him that this tension between the two countries is reducing," Hafiz Saeed's aide has said.