Sidhu hugging Pak Army Chief was not a nice gesture, says Punjab CM

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday said Navjot Singh Sidhu hugging the Pakistani Army Chief was not a nice gesture and was completely avoidable.

Talking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a photo exhibition here, the Chief Minister said Sidhu should have avoided indulging in such a gesture when Indian soldiers were getting killed every day on the borders. After all, it is the Army Chief who gives the orders to kill, with the soldiers merely following the same, said the Chief Minister in response to questions.

Pakistan’s Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa is responsible for the deaths of our soldiers and Sidhu should not have shown such niceties towards him, said Capt Amarinder.

As for Sidhu sitting next to the PoK president, Capt Amarinder said the Punjab minister possibly did not know who he was and in any case the sitting arrangement was not in his hands.

The Chief Minister, however, dismissed the Opposition demand for Sidhu’s resignation as not important.

As for Sidhu going for Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony, it was in his personal capacity due to his close relations with the former cricketer from their cricketing days, said Capt Amarinder, in response to another question.

In response to a question, the Chief Minister said he would be meeting his counterparts from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh on Monday to discuss the issue of drugs and draw out a joint strategy to combat the problem.

Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar had called him up yesterday to invite him for the meeting and he had accepted, said Captain Amarinder.

Underlining the need for collective efforts by all the states to counter the menace, Capt Amarinder pointed out that he himself had initiated the process several weeks ago with a letter to the Chief Ministers of the neighbouring states.

No state can afford to ignore the drugs issue, which has extremely dangerous implications for our future generations, he added. While the Punjab government was going all out to wipe out the menace it needed the support of neighbouring states in view of the inter-state smuggling of drugs, many cases of which had come to the fore in recent weeks, said Capt Amarinder.

The Chief Minister congratulated the photographers whose exhibits formed a part of ‘Drishti-2018’, the Members’ Annual Photography Exhibition organised by the Tricity Photo Art Society. He particularly lauded the efforts of young photographers who had come out with exemplary works to mark the World Photography Day.

The Chief Minister announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the Society on the occasion.