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Pak agencies behind ‘Referendum 2020’, says former army chief General JJ Singh

He said, “Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism and separatist activities in Kashmir. I believe that the people’s support to terrorists and separatists has waned in Kashmir.”

punjab Updated: Aug 04, 2018 10:21 IST
Mohit Khanna
Mohit Khanna
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Referendum 2020,Sikhs for Justice,Pakistani agencies
Former army chief General JJ Singh(HT Photo)

The call for ‘Referendum 2020’ by US-based outfit, Sikhs for Justice, is a ploy of Pakistani agencies, particularly the ISI, to create communal tension in India, former army chief General JJ Singh on Friday said.

India’s first Sikh army chief, who was in Ludhiana to attend a youth motivation programme, said, “I am a proud Indian first and there should be no doubt about that. What kind of referendum calls are they giving from London? India is striving to become a world power. These distractions are not going to affect us. There is no such sentiment in our country.”

“Even as there has been a change of guard in Pakistan with former cricketer Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) winning the recently held election, I don’t anticipate much change in the stand of the neighbouring country as the ISI and their army continue to operate from behind the curtain,” the soldier-turned-politician said.

Singh had contested the 2017 assembly election from the Patiala segment on a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) ticket against Capt Amarinder Singh and lost his deposit.

On the Kashmir issue, Singh said, “Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism and separatist activities in Kashmir. I believe that the people’s support to terrorists and separatists has waned in Kashmir. The Indian government has taken the right decision by shunning bilateral talks till Pakistan continues to facilitate terror activities.”

On incidents of mob lynching on the suspicion of cow slaughter, he said, “The biggest strength of our country is our diversity. In the developing world, we are a role model.”

First Published: Aug 04, 2018 10:21 IST