“Dr Kalam had deep respect for Punjab and paid four visits to the state, including thrice during his presidency. He used to say that Punjab would have been a golden state, but for the militancy,” said Brigadier (retd.) S K Salwan, a close confidant of the late former President. He had worked on various missile projects with Dr Kalam.
Talking to The Indian Express from Delhi, Brigadier Salwan, who is the chairman of the Armament Research Board, said that Dr Kalam used to say that Punjab is a small state but fills the stomach of the entire country. “He was concerned about the poor of the country and used to say that poverty is the major hindrance in India’s progress.”