Fresh from attending Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony as the Pakistan Prime Minister, Navjot Singh Sidhu has defended his decision to be present at the ceremony, reiterating that he went there 'only as a friend, and not as a politician'.
Many have criticized the Congress leader for attending the event in which Imran became his country's 22nd PM. The Punjab minister further courted controversy, when he shared some moments with Pakistan's Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and sat alongside Masood Khan, the President of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(PoK), during the event.
But Sidhu has stood his ground, and defended his decision to visit Pakistan. He said, "There is no bigger treasure in this world than love and respect. If you will take out money from locker, it will decrease. But if you will spread love, it's going to increase by 100% and what I believe is it has not increased by 100%, but by 1000%. This is the most important point because I came here as a friend."
Prior to that, he could be seen visiting the Anarkali Bazaar at Lahore. There, he was sitting inside a shop, picking a pair of footwear. He even tried wearing one of the pairs of footwear inside the shop.
After attending Imran's swearing-in ceremony on Saturday, Sidhu had given reasons behind his visit. He had said, "Main mohabbat ka paigam laya tha Hindustan se. Jitni mohabbat mai laya tha, usse zyada mai lekar jaa rahu. (I had brought a message of love from India. The love I brought with me, I am taking a lot more back).
"Love will unify us. Government has powers and they will unify us. Imran Khan has the power to change perception. Imran said 'you take one step and we will take two steps'. If Punjab borders will be open from both sides, then there will be much growth. I came here for friendship, not as a politician."
He also spoke of his encounter with Pakistan's politically-influential Army's chief Qamar Javed Bajwa describing, "Pakistan Army Chief hugged me and told 'we want peace'. It's my dream that we should unify. I will not forget this trip all of my life. We have same blood, same food, same culture. I am thankful to everyone that I got so much love and respect from Pakistan."
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