Minister reiterated that he does not regret hugging Pakistan Army Chief Sidhu can relate more with Pak than South India
When I go to South India, I can hardly understand a word. But if I go to Pakistan, they speak Punjabi and English and I can relate to them more. — Navjot Singh
Sidhu, Punjab minister
Expressing his love for Pakistan once again, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has said that visiting the neighbour country is better than going to South India due to ‘language and food problems’. He also reiterated that he does not regret hugging Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Sidhu was in Kasauli to participate in the 7th Khushwant Singh Literature Fest. The actorturned-politician said, “When I go to South India, I can hardly understand a word, except for two-three like vadakkam. I am okay with the food there. I can have dishes like idli but then I cannot have the South Indian cuisine for long. That culture is totally different. But if I go to Pakistan, they speak Punjabi and English and I can relate to them more.”
The statement gave birth to fresh controversy as the Punjab minister was already facing political storm after hugging the Pakistani army chief during Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony in Pakistan. He had later clarified that it was a spontaneous reaction after Mr Bajwa told him that Pakistan would open the Kartarpur border for Sikhs from India’s Punjab to visit to Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan.
When asked about the hugging row, Mr Sidhu said that if Pakistan actually opens the corridor for Indian Sikhs, “leave aside jhappi (hug), I would give him a pappi (kiss)”. “Punjab is no longer the state it used to be. It was made up of five rivers, but two went to Pakistan after partition,” he further added.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had backed Sidhu by calling him an “ambassador of peace” when he was criticised by the ruling BJP.
“Those in India who targeted him are doing a great disservice to peace in the subcontinent - without peace our people can't progress,” Mr Khan had said.