The BJP on Saturday took on cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu for hugging the Pakistan army chief and sharing dais with the “so-called” president of PoK, during the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Speaking to the media, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said that by doing this act, Congress leader Sidhu has committed a “heinous crime” as India has seen multiple deaths because of Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Sidhu, interestingly, is a minister in the Punjab government. Sidhu, said Patra, is not just an individual, but is also a part of the Congress party and the state government.

“He had gone there in individual capacity. But his conduct in Pakistan is highly objectionable. He should have kept in mind the interests and sentiment of 125 crore people of India,” Patra added.

Patra asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi whether, or not, Sidhu took permission from the Congress party before deciding to visit Pakistan to attend Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony.

Sidhu, on the other hand, said in Islamabad that he hopes ties between New Delhi and Islamabad would improve after his “friend” Imran Khan was sworn in as Pakistan’s 22nd prime minister.

Praising Khan while speaking to the state-run PTV, Sidhu said: “A new morning is here in Pakistan with a new government which can change the destiny of the country.” He hoped that Khan’s victory would be good for the peace process between the two nations.

“I have come to Pakistan on my friend’s (Imran) invitation. These are very special moments. Athletes and artists erase distances (between countries). I have come here bearing the message of love, and prayers for Pakistanis,” he had said after arriving in the country on Friday.

“Hindustan jeevey, Pakistan jeevey!” Sidhu chanted as he welcomed the “change” in the country brought about by the advent of the Imran Khan-led government.

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