Punjab CM takes on Pannu for his ‘liberation’ remark

Chandigarh: Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) seeking Pakistan’s help to ‘liberate’ Punjab from India exposes nefarious designs of the organisation and its nexus with Pakistani Army and Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI), Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said on Tuesday.

In a hard-hitting reaction to the statement of SFJ’s legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, Captain Singh said, “The cat is now well and truly out of the bag, and the truth of the deep-rooted connection between SJF and Pakistani Army is out in the open.”

“The statement has nailed SJF’s lies that it is a peaceful movement to build momentum for a referendum on a separate state of Khalistan,” said the Chief Minister, adding that it is more than evident now that the organisation, with the full support and backing of Pakistan Army and ISI, is striving to foment trouble in Indian Punjab.

“Through his statement, Pannu has made clear his intentions of going all out to force the secession of Punjab from India, with the backing of Pakistan Army and ISI,” said the Chief Minister, rubbishing SFJ’s claims to the contrary.

The Chief Minister has also taken strong exception to SFJ’s plans to hold ‘Kartarpur Sahib Convention-2019’, coinciding with the auspicious occasion of the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev.

This, he said, has lent credence to his fears that Pakistan’s decision to open the Kartarpur Corridor was an ISI game-plan to help forces inimical to India, including SFJ. “It has also once again proved that Pakistan government had always been, and continues to remain, a puppet regime, working at the behest of the Army there,” he added.

“The whole affair is a bigger conspiracy by the Pakistan Army, which is persistently trying to revive militancy in Punjab,” said the Chief Minister, reiterating his stand on the issue. Captain Amarinder Singh also reiterated that Punjab, and the Indian Army, are 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 Pakistan-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 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.”

“Let the two countries build a corridor of peace in the true sense of the word, without the auspicious occasion of the 550th Prakash Purab being allowed by Islamabad to be abused by anti-Indian forces,” said the Chief Minister.