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“Terror And Trade Can’t Go Together”: Amarinder Singh On Opening Trade With Pak

Source : Asian News International (ANI)

“Terror And Trade Can’t Go Together”: Amarinder Singh On Opening Trade With Pak
Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh (File Photo)

Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday dismissed the idea of opening trade with Pakistan until and unless “it did not stop terror funding and killing our soldiers along the borders”.

In an informal interaction with media persons in Chandigarh, the former chief minister said that there was no point in starting business and trade with Pakistan as terror and trade cannot go together. Captain Amarinder presented a grim security scenario in Punjab with a perennial threat to peace from Pakistan, saying sleeper cells of various terror groups were active and using the help and support of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to foment trouble in Punjab.

The former Chief Minister gave elaborate details about the huge cache of arms and ammunition that Pakistan has managed to infiltrate into this part of the border. “This is just a part that came to the notice of our security forces and imagine what must have skipped their notice”, he pointed out, while wondering as to why the Punjab government was in continuous denial mode on the security issue.

Over the issue of the recent sacrilege attempt in Golden Temple in Amritsar, Captain Amarinder said that “these have a potential to polarize people along religious lines, which can lead to unrest and trouble in the state.”

“The foreign agencies like the ISI in coordination with the sleeper cells of various secessionist and terrorist groups were active and were desperately waiting for an opportunity to exploit such situation and strike,” he said.

Calling Pakistan and China as “one Country”, Singh said “India will need to be more alert and vigilant. Given the geographical position of Punjab, the state faces more security challenges now.”

“China had invested USD 29 billion in Pakistan. It had built huge infrastructure by making highways and tunnels that will take Chinese goods directly to Gwadar port, which provides Chinese access to Central Asia. With Afghanistan in dire need of financial help and China ready to give it, India will have another problem from the hostile Taliban, who can be used by the Chinese to infiltrate into India,” he added.

He further said that India needs to build up a more sophisticated missile system to shoot down the drones. “The efficiency of drones, both in terms of covering the distance and carrying the load, was being enhanced which is a potential threat for the country as it provides more options for Pakistan to smuggle in drugs and weapons into the country,” he said.

Mr Singh’s remarks come at a time when Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has betted for opening trade with neighbouring Pakistan.

“In a bid to boost the State’s economy, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi announces that he would soon write to the Government of India besides seeking an appointment from the Union Home Minister Amit Shah to flag the issue for opening trade with the neighbouring country of Pakistan,” CMO Punjab tweeted earlier this month.

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