Amarinder was in Birmingham, to address the Indian diaspora on the sacred occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev

CHANDIGARH: Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday night strongly advocated peace and friendship with Pakistan to enable both countries to move forward towards development and progress, but made it clear that India would not allow ISI-backed forces such as the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) to disturb its harmony and stability.

Amarinder was in Birmingham (United Kingdom), to address the Indian diaspora on the sacred occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev.

He said SFJ was a hardcore terrorist group, with no ideological basis for its campaign, and had to be treated as such.

Describing SFJ’s so-called legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannu as a `fraud’, operating under the directions of Pakistan’s ISI, the Chief Minister said Pannu’s sole motive was to divide the Sikhs, and India, to promote the ISI agenda.

Referring to the terror modules busted in Punjab in the past couple of years, along with large-scale arrests and seizure of weapons, he said these had exposed SFJ’s intentions, but both the Indian and Punjab Governments were dealing with it with an iron hand.

Earlier, he called for cordial and friendly relations with neighbours to promote peace, in line with Guru Nanak Dev’s philosophy, for the collective resolution of global problems.

Both India and Pakistan had been through a lot, and it was time now for them to let go of the past and move forward in the spirit of friendship to ensure their respective progress, he stressed.

Citing the Kartarpur Corridor as a beginning towards better relations between India and Pakistan, Amarinder hoped it would set the stage for the opening of other important religious shrines in Pakistan to Indians seeking 'Khulle Darshan Deedar.' Pointing to Guru Nanak’s philosophy of oneness of God, the Chief Minister underlined the need to rise above religion and caste to protect the future and facilitate the development of Punjab and its people.

What the founder Guru of Sikhism had indicated 550 years ago was happening now, he said, pointing to global problems like pollution and water scarcity.

He stressed the need for friendship and togetherness to tackle these problems and look ahead, towards the creation of a better future for the next generation.

Amarinder sought the Indian diaspora’s help and support in enabling the industrial growth of Punjab, which he stressed needed to be weaned away from the water-guzzling paddy crop.

He invited Indians in UK to the Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit, being held on December 5-6, to help the state make its much-needed shift from agriculture to industry for its economic progress and for the generation of employment for the youth.

Earlier, Ruchi Ghanashyam, High Commissioner of India to UK, said the message of Guru Nanak Dev was more relevant than ever before, in view of the challenges of terror and divisiveness being faced by the world.