Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said Tuesday a purported statement by a pro-Khalistan outfit, seeking support from Pakistan to "liberate" Punjab from India, has exposed its "nefarious designs" and nexus with the Pakistani Army and the ISI.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said Tuesday a purported statement by a pro-Khalistan outfit, seeking support from Pakistan to “liberate” Punjab from India, has exposed its “nefarious designs” and nexus with the Pakistani Army and the ISI. The chief minister made the remarks after a section of media reported that US-based Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a separatist outfit, had allegedly sought support from the Pakistan government for ‘Referendum 2020’, a campaign to “separate Punjab from India”.
Attacking SFJ’s legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the chief minister said, “The cat is now well and truly out of the bag, and the truth of the deep-rooted connection between the SJF and the Pakistani Army is out in the open.” Amarinder Singh has also taken strong exception to SFJ’s reported plans to hold a ‘Kartarpur Sahib convention – 2019’, coinciding with the auspicious occasion of the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism.
The whole affair is a “bigger conspiracy” by the Pakistan Army, which is persistently trying to revive militancy in Punjab, the CM said, reiterating his stand on the issue. Amarinder Singh also said that Punjab and the Indian Army were well prepared to counter any such plans of the neighbouring country. “Punjab is today much better equipped than it was in the 80s and 90s when Pak-backed terrorism had swept the state,” he said, warning Islamabad against extending any further support to SFJ or other such outfits that are bent on disturbing the state’s hard-earned peace.
The Pakistan Army would do well to remember the ignominious defeats it had suffered at the hands of the Indian Army on every occasion it had tried to take on the might of the latter, right from the 1965 and 1971 wars to the more recent Kargil battle, warned Amarinder Singh. Asserting that he was all in favour of the Kartarpur Corridor to fulfill the long-pending aspirations of the Sikh community in India, the chief minister said it was the “misuse” of the initiative that he was opposed to.
If Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was truly in favour of opening the doors for long-lasting peace with India through this corridor, he should not only unequivocally condemn the SFJ statement but should also ensure that Pakistan soil is not used by the anti-India outfit to further its campaign, he said, urging the Pak leader to put a stop to the plan of ‘Kartarpur Sahib Convention – 2019’. Let the two countries build a corridor of peace in the true sense of the word, without the auspicious occasion of the 550th ‘Prakash Purb’ being allowed by Islamabad to be abused by anti-Indian forces, the CM said.