They Killed 41, We Should Kill 82, Says Capt Amarinder, Calling For Tit-For-Tat In Wake Of Pulwama Attack
Asserting that the entire country was fed up with the senseless killings of Indian soldiers every day, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday called for tough coercive action against Pakistan, which he suggested could be military, diplomatic or economic, or a combination of all three.
Advocating a strong stance in the wake of the Pulwama terror carnage, the Chief Minister said it was for the Centre to decide what form of action should be taken, but it was clear that some measures had to be taken urgently. “India wants it now,” he declared during a chat with some TV channels.
“No one is asking anyone to go to war, but these killings of soldiers are not a joke. Something has to be done. I’m fed up, the country is fed up,” said a visibly agitated Captain Amarinder, adding that he was not asking for war but definitely wanted tit-for-tat action against Pakistan.
“Pakistan can’t hold India to ransom just because they are a nuclear nation, even we are nuclear,” pointed out the Chief Minister, observing that they had nuclear capability even during Kargil but were defeated by the Indian forces. In any case, Islamabad could never resort to use of nuke weapons, as international pressure would not allow that, he said, suggesting that New Delhi should call Pakistan’s bluff against such threats.
It was for the Indian Prime Minister and Defence Minister to decide what action should be taken now, but it was clear that something needed to be done, said an emotional Captain Amarinder, adding that “there is time for talk but that is not now”. At the moment, there was palpable anger across the country, which wanted some strong measures by the Indian government, he asserted.
The ex-Army man, whose first love has always been the Army, declared that, “If they (Pak-backed terrorists) kill our soldiers, we have to do something.” Calling for a proactive role in destroying the safe havens of the terrorists, he said terror organisations within Jammu & Kashmir have to be dealt with. “We should get 82 of them since 41 of our men have been killed, the Chief Minister asserted, demanding an `eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.’
Lamenting that the Army had softened since those days when he had joined it 50 years ago, the Chief Minister said they should go after Jaish-e-Mohammad in Kashmir, instead of firing pellets and blinding youth. “Let’s win their hearts and minds with love,” he said, urging the Army not to look at Kashmiri youth as their enemies.
The message needs to go out to Pakistan – stop meddling in J&K and stop promoting terror; enough is enough, said the Chief Minister, adding that the Pak hand in Pulwama was clear. It was evidently the Army that was calling the shots there, with Prime Minister Imran Khan also a plant of the military, he said.
“The Indian government should take whatever measures required to tackle the terror and we will support them,” he said, adding that inputs could be taken from central agencies like RAW to formulate a structured strategy to deal with the situation. Questions were bound to be asked on the issue of intelligence failure in Pulwama, said the Chief Minister, adding that the government would need to answer for that.
Pointing out that ISI had tried to whip up mischief even in Punjab, where they had been unsuccessful, Captain Amarinder called for a clear-cut policy framework to deal with them. “I have sent out the message loud and clear that our police force is not the same as it was in the 80s and 90s, but has been through the baptism of fire and is ready to deal with their sinister and evil designs,” he added.
If China and Muslim countries stop giving them doles, they (Pakistan) will be left struggling with a begging bowl in hand, the Chief Minister suggested. He called for a global diplomatic offensive against Pakistan, mooting harsh measures to put a lid, once and for all, on Islamabad’s anti-India actions. The surgical strikes had not achieved anything, he commented, adding that Islamabad needs to be made to understand that Indian soldiers are not dispensable.
Asked to comment on the attacks on Kashmiri students and others in the wake of the Pulwama incident, Captain Amarinder asserted they were very much part of the country and Punjab would ensure their full protection. Everyone in the force is one family and we are identified by our units not religion, he quipped, pointing to the unity in the Army as an example for the entire nation to emulate.
On removal of photographs of Pakistani cricketers from the Mohali stadium, the Chief Minister said while he was not aware of the incident, it seemed like an emotional reaction, possibly by some clerk.
The Chief Minister hoped the Pulwama incident would not push back the Kartarpur initiative, which was the realization of the aspirations of the entire Sikh community and with which his own grandfather was closely associated, having rebuilt it after the floods in 1920s.
– PTC NEWS