Sidhu's border hopping, new found love for Pakistan leaves Amarinder Singh in a fix
New Delhi, Nov 28: All is not well between Navjot Singh Sidhu and Capt Amarinder Singh, and at the centre of what is being seen as a rift is cricketer-turned-politician's recent outburst of affection for Pakistan. At a time when both nations are not even willing to sit across the table and hold talks, Sidhu hops across the border as a well-wisher at the drop of a hat. For Sidhu, Imran Khan is an 'angel', and he sees nothing wrong in hugging Qamar Bajwa, under whose command the Pakistani army constantly violates the ceasefire and keeps the border on the boil.
For Sidhu, Pakistan is culturally closer than South India. He has admitted that he feels at home in Pakistan, because they speak Punjabi there, but finds South India culturally different because of the language and the food.
Sidhu goes across the border, meets media and it appears as if he still on the sets of the Kapil Sharma show. In a casual manner, the Punjab Minister cracks Shayaris and gives sermons on peace. India-Pakistan conflict is decades old, there are lots of complex issues involved, but Sidhu feels that his visits would patch up the sour ties in a jiffy.
Punjab CM may not like what Sidhu is doing, but Amarinder Singh's response has been measured. Singh on Tuesday (November 27) said he had asked Sidhu to reconsider his decision to visit Pakistan on Imran Khan's invite.
"Sidhu told me he had already committed himself to going. When I informed him of the stand I had taken on the issue, he said it was his personal visit but he would get back to me. But I did not hear from him," Singh said.
Sidhu on Tuesday crossed over to Pakistan through Attari-Wagah border to take part in the ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday. Reiterating his stand of not going to Pakistan himself for ground breaking ceremony of the corridor there on Wednesday, Singh asked how he could go there when innocent Indian citizens and soldiers were being killed every day. "I have strong feelings on the issue. I have a strong bond with the Army and cannot stand seeing my people killed," he asserted.
Sidhu's 'love' for Pakistan has also given fodder to Shiromani Akali Dal to train guns at Singh's government in Punjab. Shiromani Akali Dal leader and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal had called Sidhu a traitor for attending Imran Khan's swearing in and hugging Pakistan Army chief at the oath taking ceremony.
But all this seems to have no effect on Sidhu. All he feels is that it was hug that did the trick. Sidhu had claimed that the Pakistan army chief had told him about making efforts to open the Kartarpur corridor .
Sidhu and Pakistan on cricket field:
Sidhu may be going gaga over Pakistan now that he is a politician, but during his playing days, he would get into arguments with them. In 1996 in Sharjah, Waqar Younispnce said during a match, "Oye Sardar, play with a straight bat. Don't play your shots sideways."
Sidhu in retaliation said, "You cut-finger, better mind your business, else I am going to cut your arm completely. A lot of people may not know but Waqar Younis has only got 4 fingers on his left hand."
Aamir Sohail, who was fielding in the gully region made another remark at Sidhu, "Oye Sardar, you better, behave yourself."
This heated argument was enough to blow off Sidhu's lid. Raising his bat, he went marching towards Aamir Sohail. Sidhu's demeanour was ominous and it really seemed as if he would hit Sohail with the bat.