MUMBAI: Former Indian cricketer turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu was highly regarded by Pakistani’s when he came to attend the oath taking ceremony of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Sidhu was overwhelmed with the love and respect he received on the Pakistani soil, but things have now turned sour for the former Indian cricket team player as his own country’s lawmakers and citizen are bashing him after photos of Sidhu hugging Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa came to light.
After being under attack for days it seems like some sense has prevailed as Sidhu now has received support from BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha who said Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi had hugged their Pakistani counterparts during their visits to that country.
Sinha said Sidhu had already made himself clear on the issue and said: “I don’t think there is any scope for any controversy”.
“I have already said our former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his visit to Pakistan had hugged his Pakistan counterpart, Nawaz Sharif. Our present Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also hugged Nawaz Sharif during his visit. I think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion,” Sinha, a member of Parliament, told reporters on Tuesday.
Sinha expressed sadness speaking at a seminar in Kolkata, saying he had never spoken against the BJP, but tried to “act as a mirror” for the party.
“When people say that I speak against my party or the government, it is not speaking against them. I have received my training from leaders like Nanaji Deshmukh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani. I have learnt from them that the party is bigger than the individual and country is bigger than the party,” he said. “If I am saying anything in favor of the nation, something positive, then actually I am saying it in favor of the party,” he added.
It is my democratic right to speak up” Sinha said.