LS polls: SAD bats for trade with Pakistan via Punjab border, revocation of NSA - Hindustan Times
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LS polls: SAD bats for trade with Pakistan via Punjab border, revocation of NSA

May 18, 2024 03:21 PM IST

Releasing Shiromani Akali Dal manifesto in Jalandhar, party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal calls for death penalty for drug lords and vows to continue fight for release of Sikh prisoners

If elected to Parliament, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) representatives will work for re-opening the India-Pakistan trade corridor through the Attari-Wagah checkpost in Amritsar, Hussainiwala in Ferozepur and Fazilka.

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and party leaders releasing the manifesto in Jalandhar on Saturday for the June 1 parliamentary election in Punjab. (HT Photo)
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and party leaders releasing the manifesto in Jalandhar on Saturday for the June 1 parliamentary election in Punjab. (HT Photo)

Announcing this while releasing the SAD manifesto in Jalandhar on Saturday, party president Sukhbir Singh Badal said, “If the Centre can allow trade with Pakistan through Gujarat ports then why can’t the same be done through the road network to boost trade in Punjab? We will raise the demand for the restoration of international trade with neighbouring countries.”

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In its ‘elaanaama (declaration)’ for the June 1 parliamentary election, the SAD, which has faced criticism for failing to control the drug problem during its tenure in the state from 2007-17, has demanded death sentence for drugs lords. “We will strongly put forward our demand in the Lok Sabha for coming up with stringent laws while dealing with smuggling of drugs and those behind it. The country requires death penalty for drug lords as they ruin and play with the life of gullible youngsters,” Sukhbir said.

The SAD president said the party will continue its fight for the release of Sikh prisoners (Bandi Singhs) with the Centre. “The SAD will coordinate with other regional parties to raise a strong voice against the revocation of the National Security Act (NSA) in Parliament. We propose a checks and balances system for national agencies, such as the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation, as they are being misused for arm-twisting political gains,” he said.

He said of the four main parties fighting the poll battle in 13 Punjab constituencies, only the SAD is a regional party that talks about the welfare and development of the state. “The Congress, BJP and AAP are playing divisive politics, creating rifts within communities and creating an atmosphere of communal disharmony,” he said.

The SAD president added that successive Union governments, whether they were led by the Congress or the BJP, had ignored Punjab and led to its becoming a bankrupt state. “No special economic package was given to Punjab when it required it the most in the post-militancy years. These two parties looted the state of its finances when it was going through tough days by charging it for the deputation of central forces to maintain law and order. When Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir can get a special economic package why can’t Punjab?” Sukhbir added.

What SAD promises:

* To fight for empowerment of federal structure.

* Continue fight for Chandigarh as independent capital of Punjab only.

* To bat for cancellation of all water-sharing treaties and pacts.

* To free Sikh religious institutions from inference from any other organisation and bring them back in SGPC’s purview.

* To advocate farmers’ rights and pressurise the Centre to come up with MSP guarantee.

* To stop non-Punjabis from buying land in Punjab for farming and allowing Punjabis to buy farm land in Haryana and Rajasthan for the same purpose.

* To come up with law that only Punjabis having Punjab domicile to get public and private jobs in the state.

* To develop Amritsar as a textile and tourism hub.

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