Toughen stand on border standoff: Amarinder Singh

Army patrol teams in the Sub Sector North along the Line of Actual Control with China. File

Army patrol teams in the Sub Sector North along the Line of Actual Control with China. File   | Photo Credit: Dinakar Peri

‘We cannot ignore the threat posed by China’s aggressive moves’

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday urged the Centre to toughen its stand if China was not amenable to diplomatic efforts to resolve the standoff on the Line of Actual Control. But he made it clear that he did not advocate a war.

“The problem needs to be resolved through negotiations and diplomacy, but we cannot turn our back on the threat posed by China’s aggressive moves,” he said at an online press conference. As sovereign nations, India and China should find a diplomatic solution to the problem. India “does not want a war but we will not accept bullying by China,” he said. “We want peace, but they cannot push us around,” he said, calling for China to be pushed out of the Indian territory.

India could not keep allowing its land to slip away. If the threat was not countered, the Chinese would demand more and more land, he said. Pointing to the Dokhlam standoff, Captain Singh said such Chinese provocations were common, and China had encroached upon Indian territory even in Aksai Chin and resorted to similar actions in Arunachal Pradesh. Attempts had been made by China to lay claim to Indian land in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh too, he said.

The Chief Minister announced the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the illicit smuggling and sale of liquor during the lockdown. “The three-member SIT will be headed by Water Resources Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, and will undertake a thorough investigation into the whole racket,” he said.

Also read: Amarinder warns China against any attempt at intrusion

Captain Singh reiterated his intention to contest in the next Assembly election, but said the decision on his leading the party rested with the Congress president. He had said the 2017 election would be his last, but he decided to contest in the 2022 election at the request of his party colleagues, he said.

On former Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s interaction with the Congress leadership, Captain Singh said Mr. Sidhu was very much part of the Congress and was in touch with the party high command. Sidhu or any other Congress member who had any concern over any issue could meet him. Investigations in the cases of sacrilege were in progress, “but we cannot put people behind bars without following the due process of law,” he said, referring to Mr. Sidhu’s critical remarks on the issue.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 8:33:37 AM |

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