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Pulwama attack | They killed 41, we should kill 82: Amarinder wants tit-for-tat

“The message needs to go out to Pakistan – stop meddling in J&K and stop promoting terror; enough is enough,” said the CM

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

Asserting that the entire country was fed up with the senseless killings of Indian soldiers every day, Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh on Monday called for tough coercive action against Pakistan, which he suggested could be military, diplomatic or economic, or a combination of all three.

Advocating a strong stance in the wake of the Pulwama terror carnage, the CM said it was for the Centre to decide what form of action should be taken, but it was clear that some measures had to be taken urgently. “India wants it now,” he declared during a chat with some TV channels.

“No one is asking anyone to go to war, but these killings of soldiers are not a joke. Something has to be done. I’m fed up, the country is fed up,” said a visibly agitated Amarinder, adding that he was not asking for war but definitely wanted tit-for-tat action against Pakistan.

“Pakistan can’t hold India to ransom just because they are a nuclear nation, even we are nuclear,” pointed out the CM, observing that they had nuclear capability even during Kargil but were defeated by the Indian forces.

In any case, Islamabad could never resort to use of nuke weapons, as international pressure would not allow that, he said, suggesting that New Delhi should call Pakistan’s bluff against such threats.

It was for the Indian Prime Minister and Defence Minister to decide what action should be taken now, but it was clear that something needed to be done, said an emotional Amarinder, adding that “there is time for talk but that is not now”.

At the moment, there was palpable anger across the country, which wanted some strong measures by the Indian government, he asserted.

The ex-Army man declared that, “If they (Pak-backed terrorists) kill our soldiers, we have to do something.” Calling for a proactive role in destroying the safe havens of the terrorists, he said terror organisations within Jammu and Kashmir have to be dealt with.

“We should get 82 of them since 41 of our men have been killed, the CM asserted, demanding an “eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”.

“The message needs to go out to Pakistan – stop meddling in J&K and stop promoting terror; enough is enough,” said the CM, adding that the Pak hand in Pulwama was clear. “It was evidently the Army that was calling the shots there, with Prime Minister Imran Khan also a plant of the military,” he said.

The surgical strikes had not achieved anything, he commented, adding that Islamabad needed to be made to understand that Indian soldiers were not dispensable.