There has been a huge uproar against Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu following his decision to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan as Pakistan's Prime Minister. During the event, Sidhu could be seen warmly embracing Pakistan Army chief General General Qamar Javed Bajwa, something which did not go down well with the Indian faithfuls.
The Punjab minister put himself in further hot water on Tuesday, when he brazenly defended his decision to hug the Army chief, and also praised Pakistan and it's newly-elected PM, Imran.
One of those who is least pleased with Sidhu for his antics is Lt General Raj Kadyan. Speaking exclusively to Republic TV, he said, "Sidhu went to Pakistan as a cricketer on the invitation of a former cricketer. There is no dispute about that. But he was there not representing Government of India or the political party that he belongs to. Sidhu showed have known that he has a high public visibility. He also holds a responsible position in the Government of Punjab that his actions will be watched carefully by the world and any controversial action is likely to take up a row, which it has.
"I feel for the martyr's family. In the perception of the Indian soldiers and Indian army, the chief of the Pakistani army is held personally responsible for all the deaths and injuries that have taken place on the Line of Control (LoC) and inside the valley. Therefore, what Sidhu has done, showing warmth to same Army chief is not excusable."
The former Indian army official further added that the cricketer-turned-politician should make an apologize to the country."It was an act that cannot be supported and the least he should do now is make an apology to the families of martyr's whose sentiments he hurt.He has also insulted the Army as an institution and should apologise. Apology doesn't bring the status down and in fact, it shows a gesture of good grace.
"From the video it wasn't clear whether it was the Army chief who took the initiative to hug, or it was Sidhu's initiative. If it was Sidhu's initiative, then it is more inexcusable. Even if was Army chief's inititiave, and Sidhu had to respond to it, he should apologize for the sake of the sentiments of the martyr's families", he added.