Islamabad: As if attending Imran Khan's swearing-in as Pakistan prime minister was not enough, cricketer-turned-politcian Navjot Singh Sidhu added to the controversy by hugging Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during the event in Islamabad. Not only that, Sidhu was seated beside President of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), Masood Khan, triggering massive backlash on social media back in India.
At the event, Pakistan government instead of seating Congress leader Sidhu with other foreign dignitaries, positioned him next to Masood Khan in Aiwan-e-Sadr Hall of President's House. Earlier, Sidhu and Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa were spotted hugging each other at the President House prior to oath taking ceremony.
"People like Khan Sahab (Imran Khan) create history. With this invitation, they have honoured me. People who build relationships are respected, people who break them are disrespected and I am one of those who respect relationships. It's a new dawn. This government has come to change this country's perception, picture and destiny, with high hopes and expectations," Sidhu told reporters after reaching the venue.
Sidhu, who is also a minister in the Congress-led Punjab government, on Friday said that he sees himself as "a goodwill ambassador of India."
Imran Khan, 65, took oath as 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan after his party - PTI - emerged as single largest in the July 25 elections.