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Punjab call to restart trade with Pakistan: Congress, BJP slam ‘Pak prem’

The sharp reactions came after The Indian Express reported that Punjab’s AAP government demanded for the resumption of trade ties with Pakistan.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann at Vidhan Sabha in Chandigarh. (Express Photo: Kamleshwar Singh, File)

The BJP and Congress on Wednesday launched scathing attacks on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over the Bhagwant Mann-led Punjab government’s demand for the resumption of trade ties with Pakistan. The sharp reactions came after The Indian Express reported that Punjab’s AAP government had made such a demand.

Reacting to the news report, BJP’s national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala called the AAP “PPP—Pak Parast Party”. Taking to Twitter, Poonawala said, “AAP’s Pakistan Parasti parallels Congress pak prem! Much like Congress AAP had questioned surgical strike, demanded Balkote proof, blamed Pulwama on India.”

“On one hand Kejriwal claims he is a kattar desh bhakt but in reality he is a votebank bhakt. From abusing Hindus to Pakistan parasti AAP is mirroring Congress. AAP is now PPP – Pak Parast Party,” tweeted Poonawala.

Trade with Pakistan was suspended by Islamabad on August 7, 2019, two days after the Indian government decided to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. The demand to resume trade was raised by Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, Punjab minister for agriculture and farmers welfare, during the National Conference of State Agriculture & Horticulture Ministers in Bengaluru on July 14-15 this year.

The Congress party also questioned the AAP government’s demand. Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Manish Tewari asked how trade is possible when India and Pakistan do not have High Commissioners “restored yet”.

“Often marvel at innocence if not nostalgia off my fellow Punjabi’s qua Pakistan. Is @KuldeepSinghAAP aware official position of Pak-NO TALKS with INDIA till J&K Constitutional changes are reversed. We do not have High Commissioners restored yet. Trade How?” tweeted Tewari, who represents Anandpur Sahib parliamentary constituency.

Delhi BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa also took a jibe at the AAP-led Punjab government.

“Drug influx frm Pak has ruined Punjab’s youth; but @AapPunjab Govt remains keen to resume ties with Pakistan! Kejriwal influence showing in AAP Punjab Govt’s “Pakistan Prem”. Hope better sense prevails over Mann Sahab & he stops following Kejriwal blindly,” Sirsa tweeted.

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First published on: 12-10-2022 at 11:54 IST
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