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Stop being a gentleman’s army, cut three heads for one: Captain Amarinder Singh

Author: PTI
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: May 3, 2017
URL:   http://indianexpress.com/article/india/stop-being-a-gentlemans-army-cut-three-heads-for-one-captain-amarinder-singh-4639422/

Peace is only possible if the government writ runs large, said Captain Amarinder, making it clear that he did not favour negotiations in J&K till the Indian Army had an upper hand.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said that the Indian Army should get cut three enemy heads for every single instance of beheading our soldiers by Pakistani forces. Singh, who has served in the Army, also said that India needs a full-time Defence Minister.

Reacting to the barbaric killing and mutilation of two Indian soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, Captain Amarinder said India’s response should be clear and unequivocal. “We should stop being a gentleman’s army. If they (Pakistan) cut one of our heads, we should cut three of theirs,” he said.

The chief minister said he had been unable to attend the cremation of Naib Subedar Paramjeet Singh, one of two soldiers whose mutilated body was found on Monday, in his village in Tarn Taran in Punjab as he was unable to walk due to a foot injury. Peace is only possible if the government writ runs large, said Captain Amarinder, making it clear that he did not favour negotiations in Jammu and Kashmir till the Indian Army had an upper hand.

While he did not blame the Prime Minister for the spiralling violence in Chhattisgarh and Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Minister asserted that the nation needed a “full-time defence minister”. India needs to build its defences, especially with China making inroads through land and sea, he said. “Our weaponsation has to improve if we are to counter the various cross-border threats effectively”, he added.

According to Captain Amarinder, the CRPF, which was recently the victim of one of the worst ever Naxal assaults in Chhatisgarh, was not trained properly and did not have sufficient firing experience to tackle such situations.

Expressing grief over the unnecessary loss of lives in the attack, he urged the CRPF to look into the matter and address the various concerns affecting the CRPF. The Chief Minister said he was sure that if a war-like situation develops in the country, all political parties, cutting party lines, would come together against the common enemy.

He dismissed the Khalistani threats against him, saying he would not allow anyone to disturb the state’s peace. “If they have the guts they should come and speak here instead of misleading people with unsubstantiated statements elsewhere. We want a stable Punjab, we want development. Having been in the Army, I had seen wars and had never worried about any risk or threat to my safety”, he said.

About his charges against Canadian defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan, the Chief Minister said his job was to raise issues and he wanted to bring big investments in the state which required peace and stability. He reiterated that Sajjan and several other Canadian parliamentarians had Khalistani leanings and were sympathising with people who wanted to disturb the peace of Punjab, which could not be allowed at any cost.
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