Sidhu Could Have Avoided Hugging Pakistan Army Chief, Says Nirmala Sitharaman
The defence minister said Sidhu's gesture at Imran Khan's swearing-in had demoralised the soldiers.
File photo of defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (PTI)
New Delhi: Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said Navjot Singh Sidhu's gesture of hugging Pakistan’s army chief impacted soldiers back home and asserted that the Punjab minister could have “avoided it”.
Cricketer-turned politician Sidhu had courted controversy by hugging Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa during his visit to Pakistan for the swearing-in of Imran Khan as Prime Minister.
He had claimed that he did so as Bajwa told him that the Pakistan government was working on opening of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims from Punjab.
“Sidhu has a lot of admirers... somebody of that stature going there and then hugging the chief of the army, an army about which in India we have very clear feelings, it certainly has an impact on soldiers... it demoralises the people. I wish Sidhu would have avoided it (hug)," she said during an interaction.
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