Reacting strongly to the use of pictures of Khalistani separatist leaders in the Pakistani video song on Kartarpur Corridor, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said this clearly endorsed his stand that there was a hidden ISI agenda behind the historic Corridor.Talking informally with mediapersons on the sidelines of the Special Session of the Vidhan Sabha, to mark the 550th Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, Captain Amarinder said he had been warning against the ISI role in the Pak decision to open the Corridor since the day their Prime Minister announced the same.Even though the Corridor marked the realization of the long-cherished dream of the entire Sikh community, including him, to pay their respects at the historic shrine, India could not afford to ignore the ISI threat that was attached to it, said the Chief Minister, stressing the need for extreme caution.“This is what I have been cautioning against all along, they (the ISI) has a negative agenda behind it. We have to be very careful,” he said, in response to a question. The video, he said, had only exposed the true intent of the ISI.“On the one hand, they are seemingly showing us compassion and humanity, and on the other, they seem intent on using the Corridor to woo the Indian Sikhs to promote the ISI-backed 2020 Khalistan Referendum and creating sleeper cells here ,” Captain Amarinder added.The controversy over the Pakistani video song has been triggered by the use of a picture showing three Khalistani separatist leaders, who were killed during Operation Blue Star in June 1984.
The Chief Minister also lashed out at the Akali leaders for playing into the hands of the ISI with their politically motivated comments on the Kartarpur Corridor issue. Reacting to recent statements by SAD president Sukhbir Badal and former state minister Bikram Majithia that he (the CM) had been trying to sabotage the Corridor by cautioning against an ISI gameplan, Captain Amarinder said the Akali leaders were blinded by their lust for power.They (the SAD leaders) cannot see beyond their petty political interests, said the Chief Minister, adding that their stubborn refusal to see the signs of the ISI’s disruptive agenda smacked of selfishness and total disregard for the interests of Punjab and its people.“If there’s anyone trying to sabotage the Corridor, it is the ISI. But instead of targeting the ISI, they persist in attacking me,” said Captain Amarinder. By choosing to ignore the ISI threat and trying to mislead the people of Punjab with provocative statements against their own government, these Akali leaders were actually taking forward the ISI agenda of dividing the Sikh community, he added.Every Indian is aware of the ISI threat against the nation’s stability, and their role in sponsoring terror in our country, yet the Akalis continue to turn a blind eye to it, and instead remain focused on playing petty political games internally, said the Chief Minister. The ISI had been trying to divide the Sikh community to promote Referendum 2020, and the Akali leaders were actually helping their cause by giving such provocative statements, Captain Amarinder added.While political differences were a part of a democratic polity, the same should not be allowed to put the nation’s security at risk, warned the Chief Minister, urging the Akalis to rise above petty politicking and keep the interests of Punjab above all. This game of one-upmanship, especially at an important time like this, when the entire world was looking at Punjab in view of the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations, does not behoove an old political party like the Akali Dal, he added.