A day after the all-party meeting in which all national political parties extended their support to the government on the India-China standoff, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday urged the Centre to change its policy to allow soldiers at the borders to open fire in their own defence and for protecting the nation's territorial integrity.
Making it clear that he did not support sending soldiers to the LAC without weapons, Singh said in the seventh edition of his Facebook Live #AskCaptain, that the government's policy should be that "if they kill one of ours, we should kill five of theirs".
It was absolutely wrong to send soldiers unarmed or not to allow them to defend themselves, he said, adding that when he and his Army colleagues used to do patrolling during his posting along the LAC for two years, they carried all kinds of weapons.
"We are in the nuclear era and we are carrying and being beaten by dandas," said Singh, expressing shock at the fact that 20 Indian soldiers, including four from Punjab, had lost their lives in an attack by stick-wielding and stone-pelting Chinese troops who, he asserted, simply could not be trusted.
Lamenting the demise of four Punjabi soldiers in the Galwan Valley clash, Singh said it was extremely unfortunate even though "as army men, we are always prepared to take the bullet".
Besides increasing the compensation for their next of kin from Rs 12 lakh to Rs 50 lakh, his government has decided to name schools after the martyrs, said Singh, adding he had spoken to two of the families so far.
On the issue of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) lawyer Gurpatwant Singh Pannu extending support to China, Singh said he was not only propagating, but was actively involved in promoting separatism and terrorism in India.
Asserting that he would not allow Pannu to succeed in his divisive agenda and disturb the state's peace at any cost, Singh dared the pro-Khalistani propagandist to come to Punjab instead of hiding out in other countries to spread his vicious campaign.