A FEW months after denying a welcome to Canadian Defence Minister (of Punjabi origin) Harjit Singh Sajjan, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Monday lashed out at Canada’s NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s remarks on ‘self-determination’ for Punjab, saying he (Jagmeet) was “obviously totally disconnected from the ground realities in India, where Sikhs hold a place of pride with their excellent achievements in every field.”
In a statement issued by the CM’s office, Amarinder was stated to have accused Jagmeet of trying to destabilise Punjab by creating strife with his “ill-conceived and confrontational remarks.” The CM also urged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ensure that his country’s soil was not used for such treacherous assaults on India’s integrity and security.
The statement said, “Jagmeet’s statement that he considers self-determination to be a “basic right” in places such as Punjab, Catalonia or Quebec was clearly designed to spread trouble in Punjab,” adding that Amarinder’s government would not allow any such attempt to succeed.
At a time when Punjab was working on a holistic development and revival agenda, Jagmeet was trying to whip up negative passions among the Sikh community, the Chief Minister was quoted as saying adding that the newly-elected NDP leader would not succeed in his nefarious designs as the people of Punjab wanted peace and stability.
While expressing a sense of pride at the contribution of the Sikh community worldwide, the CM was quoted as saying that Sikhs were known for their extraordinary accomplishments and for bringing accolades not only to India but to whichever country they were settled in. “A handful of destructive elements could not undermine the achievements of the Sikhs,” he was quoted as saying.
The statement said Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) had failed to trigger unrest in Punjab through its recent “Khalistan 2020 Referendum and Jagmeet had echoed it with his statement on self-determination.