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Amarinder Singh wants ‘befitting response’ to Pakistan after Pulwama attack, Navjot Sidhu bats for talks

A day after the deadly attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama killed 44 jawans, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Friday urged the Centre to “teach Pakistan a lesson”, saying that “time for talking peace is over”.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2019 20:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Amarinder Singh, speaking at the Punjab assembly, blamed the Pakistan army and its external intelligence agency ISI of fomenting trouble in India.
Amarinder Singh, speaking at the Punjab assembly, blamed the Pakistan army and its external intelligence agency ISI of fomenting trouble in India.(PTI)
         

Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Friday joined the chorus of outrage and derision over the suicide bombing in south Kashmir’s Pulwama, calling for strong action against the terrorists who plotted the attacks.

The chief minister, also a former Indian Army Captain, urged the Centre to “teach Pakistan a lesson” and emphasised that the “time for talking peace is over”.

But soon enough, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu struck a discordant note. The cricketer-turned-politician batted for dialogue with Pakistan for a “permanent solution” to the contentious issues between the two neighbours.

“Wherever wars are fought and such things (Pulwama-type attack) happen, dialogue also continues simultaneously. There is a need to find a permanent solution (to issues between India and Pakistan). Such people (terrorists) have no religion, no country and no caste,” Sidhu said, according to news agency IANS.

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“When a snake bites, its anti-dote is also snake poison. For a handful people, you cannot blame an entire nation,” Sidhu, who knows Pakistan President Imran Khan from their cricketing days, said.

In sharp contrast, the chief minister’s stand in the state assembly mirrored the approach taken by several political parties. He blamed the Pakistan army and its external intelligence agency ISI of fomenting trouble in India.

“Enough is enough. The time for talking peace is over and I think it is time to teach them (Pakistan) a lesson, and I hope the Government of India will understand this,” Amarinder Singh said.

“This is becoming too much and if we do not act, they (Pakistan) may resort to such misadventure again. The time has come for the Centre to understand their designs and give them a befitting response,” the Punjab CM said.

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

First Published: Feb 15, 2019 18:26 IST

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