Navjot Singh Sidhu
Punjab's Local Government Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu during a programme organised on the occasion of Valmiki Jayanti, in Amritsar on Oct 24, 2018.IANS

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu released a statement on Thursday condemning the actions by both sides – India and Pakistan saying, "They must think the worst of one another because only in thinking the worst, do they believe they can protect and defend. But this belief is a mirage."

He added that fear is an unwelcome guest here since "fear breeds fear" and also fear breeds a "fear of dialogue" and that fear does not allow one to think differently.

In the statement, Sidhu assured everyone of his patriotism that he is a "son of the soil" and that his father was a freedom fighter and that, for him, the true test for patriotism is courage.

Sidhu has been no stranger to controversy due to many accusing him of being pro-Khalistan. In August, the cricketer-turned-politician found himself embroiled in controversy after a video of him hugging Pakistani Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa went viral. The incident took place when Sidhu went to Islamabad to attend Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony.

Navjot Singh Sidhu General bajwa
Indian National Congress party activist removes a banner with a picture of Punjab Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu (L) embracing Pakistani Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the message in Punjabi 'Traitor of India Sidhu', at a roadside in Amritsar on February 20, 2019. - Pakistan is ready to help India investigate the deadliest blast in Kashmir in decades, but will retaliate if Delhi attacks, Prime Minister Imran Khan said February 19 as tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals soared.NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images

Sidhu also was in the eye of the storm in the Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony. One of the most recent incidents, which got Sidhu temporarily replaced in the long-running Hindi show 'Comedy Nights with Kapil', for his tweets after over 40 CRPF jawans were martyred in a suicide bombing orchestrated by the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad.

He had tweeted, "For a handful of people, can you blame the entire nation and can you blame an individual? It (the attack) is a cowardly act and I condemn it firmly. Violence is always condemnable and those who did it must be punished."

In the statement, Sidhu went on to say that he stands by what he said and that a community cannot be held responsible for the actions of a few. Sidhu then went on to say that "dialogue and diplomatic pressure" is the answer to curbing terrorism in the long-run. Sidhu then requested everyone to be patriots and by patriots, he meant to stand against fear and dissent. He also asked to not give out labels and nationalists and those who are not nationalists as 'anti-national'.

The statement ended with Sidhu saying that there is a choice and not the chance that will "determine our nation's destiny. We can choose to be patriots. To ask what kind of nationalism this is that turns Indian against Indian."

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