Toeing the expected political line in regard to Punjab Minister and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu’s visit to Islamabad for participating in Imran Khan’s oath taking ceremony as Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Bhartiya Janata Party has strongly criticized him for hugging Pakistan’s army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa twice and occupying seat next to PoK President Masood Khan during the ceremony.
However, despite criticism, Navjot Sidhu has expressed hope that ties between the two countries will improve during Imran Khan’s stint. He said that Pakistan’s military and political leadership was inclined towards improving ties with India.
BJP has demanded that Congress President Rahul Gandhi that he should act against Sidhu for his behavior in Islamabad. Government of India doesn’t recognize Masood and holds no elected Indian representative should share a platform with PoK President.
Navjot Singh Sidhu, immediately reacted for BJP’s allegations and clarified saying, “Bajwa came to me and said we were thinking of opening the Kartapur route on the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev”.
Earlier, while talking to Pakistan’s state run PTV, Sidhu used his usual poetic expressions to prais Imran Khan and hoped that his accession to the PM’s position will be good for the India-Pakistan peace process. He said, “A new morning is here in Pakistan with a new government which can change the destiny of the country.”
India and Pakistan have held no substantive dialogue since December 2015 when Sushma Swaraj, the External Affairs Minister visited Islamabad for a multilateral conference.
Imran Khan, while addressing the nation, after getting highest number of seats in National Assembly, made it clear that Kashmir remained the core issue for Pakistan and mentioned the alleged human rights violations by Indian forces in the Valley. Government of India believes that the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) is under illegitimate control of Pakistan as it is, like the rest of Jammu and Kashmir, an integral part of India.
On his arrival in Lahore, Navjot Singh Sidhu had reportedly said that Imran Khan should come forward in a peace initiative between the two countries. He said that he brought “a message of love” to Pakistan as a goodwill ambassador of India. “I have come here not as a politician but as a friend. I have come here to take part in he happiness of my friend (Imran).”
BJP activists had protested against Navjot Singh Sidhu in Ludhiana on Saturday for his decision to visit Pakistan to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan as Pakistan’s Prime Minister. One of the protesters leader reportedly said,“How could he attend Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony and hug Pakistan’s Army Chief being Punjab’s cabinet minister when India is mourning the death of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee”. They demanded explanation from the Congress party. Haryana Minister Anil Vij called it “an act of disloyalty”.
Reacting to BJP’s opposition to Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Pakistan visit, Congress leader Sunil Jakhar said, “Navjot Singh Sidhu attended oath taking ceremony of Imran Khan because he was invited. One sportsperson has invited another sportsperson. Navjot Singh Sidhu went there with the spirit of a sportsperson and I hope that the sportsman spirit will prevail over the animosity existing between the two countries”.
Two days before Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan, Subramaniam Swami, senior BJP leader had advised him not to visit Pakistan. He even said that Sidhu has lost his mental balance. This had indicated that BJP will use any opportunity to criticise Sidhu’s participation in Imran Khan’s oath ceremony.
While speaking to an Indian TV channel from Islamabad on Saturday evening, Navjot Singh Sidhu thanked Pakistanis for giving him love and respect. He expressed hope that Imran Khan would improve relations between the two countries. He said that Pakistani leaders including Imrah Khan have expressed their willingness to improve ties with India.
Imran Khan had also invited former Indian cricket captains Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev and cine star Salman Khan for the oath ceremony. However, Sidhu chose to go across and attend the event.
Watch: Korean Ambassador Chang Jae-bok performs puja for his new car, video goes viral
In the video a priest can be seen holding the puja ceremony. Ambassador Chang Jae-bok and other officials are also standing in attendance during the puja ceremony. The post was shared by the Korean Embassy on X on September 26
South Korean Embassy in India held a special puja ceremony to mark the arrival of a new vehicle for Ambassador Chang Jae-bok. The official took to X (formerly Twitter) to share a video of the pooja ceremony. He wrote he was delighted to have new Hyundai Genesis GV80 as the ambassador’s official vehicle. He also held a puja ceremony for good luck.
In the video a priest can be seen holding the puja ceremony. Ambassador Chang Jae-bok and other officials are also standing in attendance during the puja ceremony. The post was shared by the Korean Embassy on X on September 26. The video has been viewed close to 80,000 times. The post has more than 1700 likes.
Variety of comments started coming on Twitter. Many social media users were happy on seeing the video and wished Ambassador for the new car. One social media user said Good Luck and safe driving Ambassador Chang. One X user wrote that is the way to appreciate someone’s culture and wished the Ambassador best of Luck.
One social media user thanked the ambassador for embracing the culture. He said good luck for the new vehicle. Another X user said nice looking car. One user wrote performing puja is a very heartwarming. He assured the Ambassador that positive forces will bring much more glory to South Korea and India’s relations. One social media user said great to see this and respect for him. Another X user said India’s culture was the pride of India.
Another social media user said this is a great gesture by the Korean ambassador.
One X user said happy driving and safe journeys.
Another user found the video beautiful.
Another social media user said this will be a good beginning for the car of the ambassador.
Watch: Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar reaches Karnal airport on bike, video went viral
On September 1, in an effort to check pollution, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar declared that Tuesdays from now will be designated as car-free days in Karnal.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday took a bike rike to Karnal airport in an attempt to support the car free day initiative in the state. Earlier, the chief minister announced that every Tuesday would be a car-free day in Karnal, where all government officials would travel by bicycle only.
Taking to X, formerly Twitter, CM Manohar Lal Khattar wrote that be it Car Free Day or the resolve to make Drug-free Haryana, it cannot be accomplished without public cooperation. He expressed that he also made a small cooperation to reduce car traffic today by travelling to Karnal Airport by bike on Car Free Day. He added that he hopes the aware people of the state will take this message forward and inspire people to give up their cars just for a day.
On September 1, in an effort to check pollution, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar declared that Tuesdays from now will be designated as car-free days in Karnal. Under the aegis of this initiative, all government officials will be required to travel by bicycle on Tuesdays.
Meanwhile on Monday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar flagged off a cyclothon in Haryana’s Yamunanagar to promote the initiative of drug-free Haryana. The campaign titled Cyclothon for a Drug-Free Haryana witnessed the first cyclothon on September 1 and Monday, September 25.
Speaking about drug-free Haryana, the Chief Minister noted that their goal will not be achieved by mere march against drug addiction. He added that in order to eradicate it from its roots they will have to create public awareness continuously. He underlined that to eliminate drug addiction, they have to break the drug supply chain for which the government is taking action against the drug smugglers with great responsibility.
The Chief Minister further remarked that during Cyclothon Yatra Closing Ceremony in Karnal, all the people present there took many resolutions to eradicate drug addiction from the society.
Cauvery water dispute: Bengaluru bandh evokes partial response as public services function normally
Though cab services, autos and hotels, restaurants were seen operating, drivers and hotel operators asserted not many people were coming out to utilise the services.
The Bengaluru bandh summoned by farmers and Kannada organisations on Tuesday and supported by the BJP and JD(S) in protest against the release of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu evoked partial response as most of the public services were functioning normally. However, very few people ventured out in the streets.
Though cab services, autos and hotels, restaurants were seen operating, drivers and hotel operators asserted not many people were coming out to utilise the services. In Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses and Metro rail services, the usual rush was not seen. In addition, Ola-Uber Drivers Association and Hotel Owners Association have said that their services will be normal today.
On the other hand, Bengaluru Urban district Deputy Commissioner Dayananda K A has declared a holiday for all schools and colleges in the city on Tuesday, in wake of the bandh. Several private companies and firms, including those in the IT sector have asked their employees to work from home. Some shopping malls in the city have decided to remain shut. Many shops and establishments were also seen not functioning as usual in the morning hours.
Karnataka Jala Samrakshana Samiti, which is an umbrella outfit of farmers’ associations and other organisations headed by farmer leader Kuruburu Shanthakumar, has given the call for today’s dawn-to-dusk (6 am to 6 pm) Bengaluru shutdown. Shanthakumar and other leaders of the Karnataka Jala Samrakshana Samiti were arrested by the police at the Mysuru Bank circle, as they were trying to hold a protest march towards Town Hall.
In addition, multiple activists of Kannada organisations were also whisked away by the police at Town Hall, as they gathered there to demonstrate a protest. Farmers’ leaders and Kannada activists slammed the government for allegedly using police force to curtail the protests and bandh. Farmers and pro-Kannada organisations are further expected to stage a protest at the Freedom Park, which is a designated place for such demonstrations.
According to reports, city police have taken adequate security measures to respond to any violence that may happen during the protests. Nearly 100 platoons have been deployed. Bengaluru Police Commissioner B Dayananda stated that prohibitory orders under Section 144 are in place across the city from midnight on Monday to midnight on Tuesday in the view of the bandh.
According to existing restrictions and court orders, there is no permission for any bandh or procession in the city, he added. On the other hand, a Karnataka bandh, a state-wide shutdown, was called on September 29 by Kannada Okkuta, an umbrella organisation for Kannada organisations, led by Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj. They are not supporting today’s bandh.