Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday came down heavily on two of Congress’s state unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu’s advisors for making “atrocious and ill-conceived" remarks on “sensitive national issues like Kashmir and Pakistan". Moreover, he asked the advisors to “stick to giving advice to Punjab Congress chief and not to speak on matters of which they clearly had little or no knowledge and had no understanding of the implications of their comments".
Captain Amarinder reacted on reported remarks of advisor Pyare Lal Garg questioning his criticism on Pakistan and another statement by advisor Malwinder Singh Mali on Kashmir. Both of them were recently appointed by Sidhu as his advisors.
Expressing “shock" over statements by Mali and Garg, Captain Amarinder said remarks were totally misplaced and antagonistic to the stated position of India and the Congress on Pakistan and Kashmir. The Chief Minister, who has been at loggerheads with Sidhu in the past, further urged him to rein in his advisors before they end up doing more damage to India’s interests.
“Kashmir was and is an inalienable part of India," asserted Captain Amarinder, adding that with his proclamation to the contrary, Mali had effectively and inexplicably toed Islamabad’s line. “This is totally anti-national," an official statement quoted the Chief Minister as saying. He also slammed Mali for failing to withdraw his statement despite the widespread condemnation it had evoked not only from other political parties but also from within the Congress.
Ridiculing Garg’s statement that criticism of Pakistan by Captain Amarinder was not in the interest of Punjab, the Chief Minister said that Sidhu’s advisor was clearly disconnected from the ground reality. “The fact, which every Punjabi and in fact every Indian knows, is that Pakistan’s threat to us is real. Every day they are pushing weapons and drugs into Punjab via drones in a brazen attempt to destabilise our state, and our nation. Punjabi soldiers are dying at the borders at the hands of Pak-backed forces," said the Chief Minister, calling Garg’s remarks as “irrational and unjustified".
“Garg may have forgotten the thousands of Punjabi lives lost in the fire of Pak-backed terrorism of the 1980s and 1990s, but I have not. Nor have the people of Punjab. And we will continue to do everything in our power to fight off Pakistan’s dangerous games," asserted Captain Amarinder, urging Garg not to undermine the sacrifices of Punjabis with his “outrageous, irresponsible and patently politically motivated statements".