Time for peace talks with Pakistan over, teach them a lesson: Amarinder Singh

Chandigarh | Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday called for giving a befitting reply to Pakistan for the attack on CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama by terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad, saying “the time for peace talks is over and they should be taught a lesson.

Moving a resolution for condemning the terror attack and adjournment of the House, he accused Pakistan of playing a double game, saying “their prime minister (Imran Khan) is talking peace and the general (Qamar Javed Bajwa) is talking war.”

The Punjab Assembly on Friday strongly condemned the terror attack in Pulwama in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed and passed a resolution for adjournment of the proceedings of the House for the day.

Members of the House, cutting across party lines, paid tributes to the CRPF personnel killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, and observed two-minutes silence in their memory.

“Enough is enough… The time for talking peace is over and I think it is time to teach them a lesson, and I hope the Government of India will understand this point and will take it up,” the chief minister said.

The country should condemn the Pulwama terror attack in the strongest possible words, he said, adding this is getting beyond control now.

In his around 12-minute emotional speech in the House, Singh asserted, “This is becoming too much and if we do not act they may again resort to such misadventure. The time has come for the Centre to understand their (Pakistan’s) designs and give them a befitting response.”

Accusing Pakistan of playing a double game, he said, “I hear (Pakistan) prime minister saying he wants to start a Guru Nanak Dev University and perform sewa at Gurdwara sahib. And the ISI are trying to foment trouble.”

Alleging that Imran Khan was made prime minister at the behest of the Pakistan army, Singh said, “Bajwa is the commander in chief and Bajwa’s army made him (Imran) PM and (Pakistani intelligence agency) ISI is under Bajwa.”

“What is the double game being played at their national level, earning Sikhs sympathies by saying these things and on the other hand, killing people in the country,” the Punjab chief minister asked, adding “among those killed in terror attack were four sewaks of Guru Nanak Dev.”

“I have said many a times that if you (Pakistan) want to shake hands with India, which their PM says every day, then why do not you stop all these attacks,” he asked.

Taking on the Pakistan Army Chief, Singh said if Bajwa tried to do anything in Punjab, he would get a befitting response.

“Let their Bajwa know. I want to say openly. You are a Punjabi and we are also Punjabi you dare to try anything in Punjab we will set you right,” he warned.

“They should understand that they cannot play any game in 2019,” the Punjab chief minister said referring to ‘Referendum 2020’, a campaign started by separatist and pro-Khalistan elements from other countries.

Later, talking to reporters outside the House, Singh hoped the Pulwama terror attack will not impact the Kartarpur corridor and reiterated his plea for visa-free access to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur.

He expressed confidence that the corridor would be well protected, but said there was a need for a change in attitude on the part of Pakistan if peace between the two countries was to be promoted.

“The ‘Referendum 2020’ which was clearly working at ISI’s behest, was also a sign of their continued attempts to disturb peace in Punjab,” Singh said, but asserted they will not succeed.

Earlier, before seeking an adjournment motion in the House, the chief minister said the hearts of all Indians go out to the families of the 40 CRPF men killed in the dastardly attack.

As the Question Hour commenced on the fourth day the Budget session of the Punjab Assembly, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) member Bikram Singh Majithia sought the adjournment of the House in the wake of Pulwama attack.

He asserted that such a big tragedy has never occurred before and said the House’s request for condemnation of Pakistan and its Prime Minister Imran Khan be placed on record.

Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra supported Majithia’s call for the adjournment.

“This is the worst ever terror attack… It has been strongly condemned world over. We should understand the gravity of the situation. The nation is in mourning and we should adjourn the House,” Majithia said.

Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema sought Rs 1 crore compensation and jobs for the kin of four CRPF men from Punjab killed in the terror attack.

Forty CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district.

More than 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force personnel, many of them returning from leave to rejoin duty in the Valley, were travelling in the convoy of 78 vehicles when they were ambushed on the Srinagar-Jammu highway at Latoomode in Awantipora in south Kashmir.

The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack that took place about 20 km from Srinagar.

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