Punjab CM insists on ‘befitting reply’ to Pakistan in backdrop of Pulwama terror attack

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh called for a befitting response to the enemy and warned the Pakistan Army and ISI against indulging in any such games in Punjab, even as the Vidhan Sabha on Friday passed a unanimous resolution strongly condemning the barbaric attack by Jaish terrorists on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama.

The Chief Minister, while moving the resolution seeking an adjournment, said time to talk peace with Pakistan was over, and sought retaliation from the central government against the neighbouring country, which had been blatantly supporting terror in Jammu & Kashmir, as well as Punjab.

Everyday Indian soldiers were being killed by the enemy from across the border, said Captain Amarinder, adding that a major and two Jawans from 2nd Sikh had lost their lives to such attacks. Asserting that things were getting out of control now, he pointed out that Punjab had also suffered terror in the 80s and the 90s and fought it with a strong police force, which had grown manifold since then and was now fully geared to effectively counter any threat.

Captain Amarinder sent out a stern warning to Bajwa and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan against continuing with their policy of linking Kashmir and Punjab separators. “We have a force of 81000 fully with motivated men and fully equipped, who have passed the test of fire,” said the Chief Minister, declaring that if Bajwa (Pak army chief) and ISI tried anything now in Punjab they would get a resounding response. This is not the 80s, he said, noting that the Punjab Police was much bigger and better equipped today, as evident in the fact that it had solved the Ludhiana rape case in just two days.

The Chief Minister accused Imran of playing a double game in his policy viz a viz India, promoting anti-Indian forces on the one hand and talking of starting a university in the name of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji besides serving the gurdwaras on the other. He had been made prime minister by ISI and was completely at their service, said Captain Amarinder.

Before seeking an adjournment motion, the Chief Minister said the hearts of all Indians go out to the families of the 41 CRPF men killed in the dastardly attack, the toll of which was still being counted. He prayed to the Akal Purukh to grant peace to the souls of the deceased victims.

The Chief Minister formally moved the resolution, which read, “The house strongly condemns the barbaric attack by Jaish terrorists on the convoy of the CRPF in Pulwama that left 41 brave personnel dead and many others injured. Most of these personnel were on their way back to join their duties to defend the borders of India after their holidays. The sacrifice of these martyrs should not go waste and I urge the centre to ensure a befitting response to this attack on our country. The attack exposes the double standards of the Pakistan government, who on one hand is talking of peace and on the other actively supporting these terror outfits in J& K. We are all with the families of these martyred soldiers in their hour of grief and extend our heartfelt condolences to them.”

The resolution was later passed unanimously and the House adjourned for the day.

Speaking in the House, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) member Bikram Singh Majithia said the chief minister had spoken like a soldier and a true Indian. Such a big tragedy had never occurred earlier, he said, adding that the House’s request for condemnation of Pakistan and Prime Minister Imran Khan should be placed on record. Dubbing Imran as an ISI puppet, he said the attack had exposed their double standards.

Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema sought Rs 1 crore compensation and jobs for the kin of the four deceased victims from Punjab, to which the Chief Minister later told media persons outside the House that it was a small issue and would be done.

Replying to a media question, the Chief Minister hoped the attack will not impact Kartarpur Corridor and reiterated his plea for visa-free `khule darshan’. Captain Amarinder said he was confident the corridor would be well protected, but said there was need for a change in attitude on the part of Pakistan if peace between the two countries was to be promoted.

Repeating that Islamabad was trying to link the terrorists of Punjab and J&K, the Chief Minister said there are reports of the neighbouring country trying to foment trouble in Punjab, where as many as 28 terror modules had been busted in recent months. The Referendum 2020 of SJF, which was clearly working at ISI’s behest, was also a sign of their continued attempts to disturb peace in Punjab, he said, but asserted they will not succeed.

Asked if the CRPF attack was an intelligence failure, the Chief Minister said that remained to be seen and investigations into the incident would ascertain the details.

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