Pulwama terror attack: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh wants ‘befitting reply’ to Pakistan

Chandigarh: Mincing no words, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday called for a “befitting response to the enemy” and warned the Pakistan Army and ISI against indulging in any such games in Punjab, as the state Assembly passed an 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 and Kashmir as well as in Punjab. “Every day Indian soldiers were being killed by the enemy from across the border,” Amarinder, who himself served in the Army in the 1960s, pointed out in his address in the Punjab Assembly.

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. Giving a stern warning to Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan against continuing with their policy of linking Kashmir and Punjab to separators, Amarinder said: “We have a force of 81,000 motivated men and fully equipped who have passed the test of fire.

“If Bajwa and ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) tried anything now in Punjab they would get a resounding response. This is not the 80s. The Punjab Police is much bigger and better equipped today,” Amarinder said. The Chief Minister accused Imran Khan of playing a double game in his policy against terrorism vis-a-vis India, promoting anti-Indian forces on the one hand and talking of starting a university in the name of Guru Nanak Dev.”He had been made Prime Minister by ISI and was completely at their service,” Amarinder said.

The Chief Minister formally moved the adjournment resolution, which read: “The House strongly condemns the barbaric attack by Jaish terrorists on the convoy of the CRPF in Pulwama that left at least 41 brave personnel dead and many others injured. Most of these personnel were on their way back to join duties to defend the borders of India after 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.”

It further said: “The attack exposes the double standards of the Pakistan government, which on one hand is talking of peace and on the other actively supporting these terror outfits in Jammu and Kashmir. 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. Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) legislator Bikram Singh Majithia, in his address, said “such a big tragedy had never occurred earlier”. “The House’s request for condemnation of Pakistan and its Prime Minister Imran Khan should be placed on record,” Majithia said. He also dubbed Imran Khan as an ISI puppet. Leader of Opposition and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator Harpal Singh Cheema sought Rs 1 crore compensation and jobs for the kin of the four victims from Punjab, to which the Chief Minister later told media that it would be done.

Besides, Amarinder hoped the attack will not impact the Kartarpur Corridor project. He 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.

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