The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt. Amarinder Singh, has advocated peace and friendship with Pakistan to enable both countries to move forward towards development and progress, but made it clear that India would not allow ISI-backed forces such as the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) to disturb its harmony and stability.
The Chief Minister was in Birmingham in UK to address the Indian diaspora on the sacred occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. In an informal chat, he said the SFJ was a hardcore terrorist group, with no ideological basis for its campaign, and had to be treated as such.
Describing the SFJ's so-called legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannu as a fraud, operating under the directions of Pakistan's ISI, the Chief Minister said his sole motive was to divide the Sikhs, and India, to promote the ISI agenda.
Referring to the terror modules busted in Punjab in the past couple of years, along with large-scale arrests and seizure of weapons, he said these had exposed the SFJ's intentions, but both the state government and the Centre were dealing with it with an iron hand. Earlier, addressing the diaspora, the Chief Minister called for cordial and friendly relations with neighbours to promote peace, in line with Sri Guru Nanak Dev's philosophy, for the collective resolution of global problems.
Both India and Pakistan had been through a lot, and it was time now for them to let go of the past and move forward in a spirit of friendship to ensure their progress, he stressed.
Pointing to Guru Nanak's philosophy of the oneness of God, he underlined the need to rise above religion and caste to protect the future and facilitate the development of Punjab and its people.
What the founder Guru of Sikhism had indicated 550 years ago was happening now, he said, pointing to global problems like pollution and water scarcity.
He stressed the need for friendship and togetherness to tackle these problems and look ahead, towards the creation of a better future for the next generation.
His government, said Capt. Singh, would continue with the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations for another year to disseminate the message of the Great Guru, who had taught the importance of protecting nature through his ideology of 'Pawan Guru, Paani Pita, Maata Dharat'.