Islamabad: New Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday thanked ex-Indian cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu for attending his oath-taking ceremony in the country.
The ceremony was attended by former cricketer and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who arrived in Pakistan yesterday, legendary pacer Wasim Akram, top officials from the Pakistan Army, Air Force and Navy, among a host of other high-profile dignitaries. The ceremony was also graced by his wife Bushra Maneka.
On Friday, Khan was elected as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan by the lawmakers of the National Assembly, defeating his rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Shehbaz Sharif.
“I want to thank Sidhu for coming to Pak for my oath taking. He was an ambassador of peace&was given amazing love&affection by people of Pak. Those in India who targeted him are doing a great disservice to peace in the subcontinent — without peace our people can't progress: Pak PM,” ANI tweeted.
After facing backlash for sitting beside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir President, Masood Khan and hugging Pakistan Army Chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa during Islamabad visit, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday defended himself.
Upon returning to India after attending the swearing-in ceremony of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Sidhu said, "If one is invited as a guest of honour somewhere, then they have to sit wherever they are asked to. I was sitting somewhere else but they asked me to sit there."
Further giving clarification on his hug with the Pakistan Army Chief, the Congress leader said, "If someone (Pakistan Army Chief General Bajwa) comes and says that we belong to the same culture and we will open Kartarpur border on Guru Nanak Dev's 550th Prakash Parv, what else I could do?"
Sidhu, who shared space with the PoK President during Khan's oath-taking ceremony and hugged the Pakistan Army Chief, has drawn a flak and strong reactions from several quarters in India.