Sajjan a ‘Khalistani’: Punjab CM Amarinder says SGPC, Akali Dal, AAP lack national pride
Terming reactions of various political and religious outfits as misleading propaganda against his stand on fundamentalism and radicalism, chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh said on Friday that the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) “lacked national pride”.punjab Updated: Apr 27, 2017 17:59 IST
Terming reactions of various political and religious outfits as misleading propaganda against his stand on fundamentalism and radicalism, chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh said on Friday that the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) “lacked national pride”.
He was reacting to these outfits’ criticism to his stand on not meeting the Canadian defence minister during his visit to India for he was a “Khalistani sympathiser”.
In a statement issued here, Amarinder said the state government was monitoring the activities of Khalistani sympathisers and others having links with extremist forces inimical to India.
“Our assessments and decisions are based on these reports. I am ready to provide security and follow protocol during Harjit Singh Sajjan’s proposed visit to India later this month. However, there is no question of meeting the Canadian defence minister,” said the chief minister. He made it clear that Sajjan’s security and protocol treatment will be on a par with what Indian defence minister would get in Canada. “It will be neither more nor less, keeping in view the threat perception to Sajjan,” he said.
Amarinder came down heavily on the SGPC for its criticism of his stand, saying the religious body, which claims to protect the interests of Sikhs and the ethos of Sikhism, seemed to have forgotten the treatment meted out to its leaders by hardliners in Canada. “Do they have no sense of pride? Those opposing my principled stand on the issue are encouraging Khalistani sympathisers, thus fanning the possibility of the revival of Sikh extremism,” the CM said.
Countering SAD leader Sukhbir Badal’s statement dubbing him as ‘anti-Sikh’, the chief minister said the former deputy chief minister was trying to mislead the people by spreading a false propaganda. Amarinder pointed out that he had not expressed antagonism towards all Sikhs settled in Canada but only towards a minuscule population that is sympathetic to the Khalistani cause. “I have always been proud of the achievements of Sikhs settled abroad and hold them in high esteem,” he said.
First Published: Apr 15, 2017 08:25 IST