Won’t let ISI-backed forces disturb India’s harmony and stability: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

The Punjab Chief Minister made the statement in Birmingham, UK, while addressing Indian diaspora on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru NanakDev ji

Won’t let ISI-backed forces disturb India’s harmony and stability: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

Bipin Bhardwaj

Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh has strongly advocated peace and friendship with Pakistan to enable both countries to move forward on the path of development and progress but made it clear that India would not allow ISI-backed forces like the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) to disturb its harmony and stability.

The Chief Minister made the statement in Birmingham (UK) on Sunday night while addressing Indian diaspora on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji.

Amarinder said that the SFJ was a hardcore terrorist group, with no ideological basis for its campaign, and had to be treated as such. He described SFJ’s ‘legal advisor’ Gurpatwant Singh Pannu as a fraud, operating on the directions of Pakistan’s ISI. The Chief Minister said Pannu’s sole motive was to divide the Sikhs, and India, to promote the ISI agenda.

Referring to the terror modules busted in Punjab in the past couple of years, along with large-scale arrests and seizure of weapons, he said these had exposed SFJ’s intentions, but both the Punjab government and the Indian government were dealing with it with an iron hand.

The CM called for cordial and friendly relations with neighbours to promote peace, in line with Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji’s philosophy, for the collective resolution of global problems. Both India and Pakistan had been through a lot, and it was time now for them to let go of the past and move forward in the spirit of friendship to ensure their respective progress, he stressed.

Pointing to Guru Nanak’s philosophy of oneness of God, the Chief Minister underlined the need to rise above religion and caste to protect the future and facilitate the development of Punjab and its people. What the founder Guru of Sikhism had indicated 550 years ago was happening now, he said, pointing to global problems like pollution and water scarcity. He stressed the need for friendship and togetherness to tackle these problems and look ahead, towards the creation of a better future for the next generation.

His government, said Captain Amarinder Singh, has decided to set up a Guru Nanak Chair in 11 universities, including one in Iran, which was aimed at researching the Guru’s travels and philosophy so that the same could be disseminated effectively for the good of humanity.

The CM also sought the Indian diaspora’s help and support in enabling the industrial growth of Punjab, which he stressed needed to be weaned away from the water-guzzling paddy crop.

He invited Indians in UK to the Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit, being held on December 5-6, to help the state make its much-needed shift from agriculture to industry for its economic progress and for the generation of employment for the youth.

Citing the Kartarpur Corridor as a beginning towards better relations between India and Pakistan, Capt. Amarinder Singh hoped it would set the stage for opening of other important religious shrines in Pakistan to Indians seeking ‘khulle darshan deedar.’ Thanking both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan for this historic initiative, he shared with the audience that he had an interesting chat on cricket with Imran on their bus journey from Zero Point to Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in the context of the fact that the latter’s uncle had played for the royal state of Patiala in the pre-independence era.

He, however, reiterated his demand for waiver of passport condition and the $20 fee for travel through the Kartarpur Corridor, pointing out that India had never imposed any such tax on those visiting Ajmer Sharif and Nizamuddin Dargah etc from across the border.

At the commemorative event, the Chief Minister honoured several prominent NRIs based in the UK.

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