Taking strong exception to recent statements of two of Navjot Sidhu’s advisors on issues like Kashmir and Pakistan, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday warned against such “atrocious and ill-conceived comments that were potentially dangerous to the peace and stability of the state and the country”.
He urged Sidhu to rein in his advisors “before they end up doing more damage to India’s interests” and asked the advisors “not speak on matters of which they clearly had little or no knowledge, and had no understanding of the implications of their comments”.
Reacting to reported remarks of Sidhu’s advisors Pyare Lal Garg questioning Amarinder Singh’s criticism of Pakistan, as well as the earlier controversial statement of Malwinder Singh Mali on Kashmir, he expressed shock at their “extraordinary statements”, which he said, were “totally misplaced and antagonistic” to the stated position of India and the Congress on Pakistan and Kashmir.
“Kashmir was and is an inalienable part of India,” asserted the Chief Minister, adding that with his proclamation to the contrary, Mali had effectively and inexplicably toed Islamabad’s line.
“This is totally anti-national,” he said, also slamming Mali for failing to withdraw his statement despite the widespread condemnation it had evoked not only from other parties but also from within the Congress.
Ridiculing Garg’s statement that his criticism of Pakistan was not in the interest of Punjab, the Chief Minister said Sidhu’s advisor was clearly disconnected from the ground reality.
“The fact, which every Punjabi and in fact every Indian knows, is that Pakistan’s threat to us is real. Every day they are pushing weapons and drugs into Punjab via drones in a brazen attempt to destabilise our state, and our nation. Punjabi soldiers are dying at the borders at the hands of Pak-backed forces,” pointed out the Chief Minister, dubbing Garg’s remarks as “irrational and unjustified”.
“Garg may have forgotten the thousands of Punjabi lives lost in the fire of Pak-backed terrorism of the 1980s and 1990s, but I have not. Nor have the people of Punjab. And we will continue to do everything in our power to fight off Pakistan’s dangerous games,” asserted Amarinder Singh, urging Garg not to undermine the sacrifices of Punjabis.