Punjab Chief Minister Cautions About Pakistan Amid Farm Protests

"Government better be on its toes. I have been warning them for a long time that Pakistan is trying to infiltrate the borders. Their weapons are coming in. They have sleeper cells here that they can awaken anytime they want. A disturbed Punjab suits Pakistan's policies," he said.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said "a disturbed Punjab suits Pakistan's policy". (File)

Chandigarh:

There has been an increase in weapons coming from Pakistan since October when the farmers began their agitation against the three farm laws, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has said and noted that he has been cautioning the Centre against the designs of the Western neighbour to cause disturbance in the border state.

In an interview with news agency ANI, the Chief Minister said Pakistan has been sending weapons through drones and is also trying to cause infiltration.

He said there has been a spurt in "drone delivery" since the farmers' agitation started and "weapons, money, and heroine" have been coming in.

The Chief Minister said Pakistan has sleeper cells which they can activate and "a disturbed Punjab suits Pakistan's policy".

He also said that Pakistan and China are going to collude and 20 per cent of Indian Army soldiers belong to area where there has been concern among farmers about farm laws and the morale of troops can't be allowed to go down.

"I have a hostile country on my western border. On the north of us, we have China. These two countries are going to collude. About 20 per cent of the Indian army belongs to this area and we can't allow their morale to go down. I think we should be very careful in our choice of putting out news which should not create a situation where the morale of our troops goes down."

Asked if he blames Pakistan for the violence that took place on December 26 in Delhi during the tractor march by farmers against the three farm laws, the Chief Minister said it is for the investigation agencies to find out.

"I don't blame anyone. It is for the investigation agencies to find out. What I'm mentioning is when this movement started, why has there been a spurt in the drone delivery? Why weapons, money, and heroine is coming in? That coincided with the movement and that has got me wondering," he said.

Capt Amarinder Singh said he met the Union Home Minister Amit Shah in November after the farmers' agitation moved to Delhi borders to convey his concerns about Pakistan's attempts to cause disturbance.

"I went to see the Home Minister when everyone started making big news about farmers' struggle to discuss the issue that has taken place. Since the farmers' struggle started in October, the number of weaponry that is coming to Punjab (from Pakistan) has increased. It is drones that are bringing it in. That was what was concerning me because those drones that bring weapons are meant for something. They are not sent as a present here. We may capture 30 drones, but there are 20-30 that may get past us, to their objectives," Capt Amarinder Singh said.

The Chief Minister said he has been warning the government for a long time that "Pakistan is trying to infiltrate".

"Government better be on its toes. I have been warning them for a long time that Pakistan is trying to infiltrate the borders. Their weapons are coming in. They have sleeper cells here that they can awaken anytime they want. A disturbed Punjab suits Pakistan's policies," he said.

Asked about the narrative of the presence of "Khalistani" elements in the farmers' agitation, Capt Amarinder Singh said, "This is what Pakistan wants to do."

"I don't say that they are Khalistani. Khalistan, Naxal and Urban Naxal are just names. There are people with different ideologies. You may have Leftist ideologies, southern Punjab always had a leftist ideology".

He said the presence of Leftist ideology in some parts of Punjab is part of history. "Today saying that these guys are urban Naxal was unnecessary," he said.

He said Red Fort is a symbol of the country's independence and democracy and he was saddened by the incidents during the violence on January 26.

He said it is for the investigative agencies to probe the incidents of violence and fix responsibility.

"This is something of which no Indian can be proud. The Red Fort is a symbol of our Independence and democracy. The Indian flag was raised there on August 17, 1947. It was a sad day when I saw what happened. The farmers have made it clear that they do not believe in violence. I don't believe that the farmers were involved in the violence. I think it is people who infiltrated this movement. There are plenty of people. We are sitting on the border here. I keep reporting back and government in Delhi knows this jolly well what is happening at our border. It is for the investigative authorities to probe the matter and see who is responsible for it," he said.
 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)