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Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh wants to receive IAF pilot Abhinandan at Wagah, tweets request to PM

Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who is in Amritsar as part of his tour of the border areas to take stock of the ground situation, tweeted his request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi shortly after Pakistan PM Imran Khan announced that the IAF pilot would be released on Friday.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2019 09:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindusan Times, Chandigarh / Tarn Taran
capt amarinder singh,punjab CM,amarinder singh tweets to PM
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh vists first line of Defence, at Tarn Taran Border amid escalating tension between India and Pakistan, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (PTI)

Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday said he wanted to receive Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman at the border on his arrival from Pakistan.

Amarinder, who is in Amritsar as part of his tour of the border areas to take stock of the ground situation, tweeted a request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard shortly after Pakistan PM Imran Khan announced that the IAF pilot would be released on Friday.

“Dear @narendramodi ji, I’m touring the border areas of Punjab & I’m presently in Amritsar. Came to know that @pid_gov has decided to release #AbhinandanVartaman from Wagha. It will be a honour for me to go and receive him, as he and his father are alumnus of the NDA as I am (sic),” he posted on his Twitter handle.

During his visit to Tarn Taran district, the chief minister welcomed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s announcement to release Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Friday, terming it a goodwill gesture that would help ease the tension at the border.

Interacting with BSF personnel at the Khalra observation post during a tour of the border areas as part of his confidence-building measures for the residents, the CM said the Pulwama attack by Pakistan-backed terror forces was an act of cowardice, necessitating the retaliation by the Indian government. He, however, hoped that normalcy would return soon at the border.

He offered the BSF all support from his government to deal with the situation in the aftermath of the IAF strikes on terror hideouts across the Line of Control (LoC).

“We are there for you,” he told the BSF men. He recalled his own days as an armyman in the sector during the 1965 war.

During his tour in the Tarn Taran sector to assess the ground situation, Amarinder interacted with residents of at least 15 border villages, including Shaheed Baba Tara Singh Wala, Rajoke, Kalia Shatara, Dholan, Lakhna and Kals. He urged the residents to remain calm and not to be swayed by rumours.

Earlier, the CM visited the BSF’s 14th Battalion headquarters at Khemkaran and was briefed about the defence preparedness by IG BSF Mahipal Yadav. He was assured that the force was fully prepared to thwart any untoward incident from across the border.

Interacting with the bereaved family of Pulwama martyr Sukhjinder Singh of Tarn Taran, he extended his condolences, assuring them of all possible support and assistance.

He said he has directed the chief secretary and DGP to stay in touch with the district and police administrations of the six border districts viz. Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Ferozepur, Gurdaspur, Fazilka and Pathankot, and work with them on contingency plans.

He was accompanied by his media advisor Raveen Thukral, DGP Dinkar Gupta. Among those present were Patti MLA Harminder Singh Gill, Tarn Taran MLA Dharamveer Agnihotri, Valtoha MLA Sukhpal Singh Bhullar, former minister Gurchet Singh Bhullar, IG SPS Parmar, Tarn Taran deputy commissioner Pardeep Kumar Sabharwal and SSP Kuldeep Singh Chahal.

First Published: Mar 01, 2019 09:11 IST