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‘Should get 82 of them': Amarinder Singh calls for tit-for-tat in wake of Pulwama attack

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Chandigarh, Feb 18: Asserting that the entire country was "fed up" with the senseless killings of Indian soldiers in Kashmir, Amarinder Singh on Monday said that India should get two of them for every soldier killed in the carnage.

Singh said the coercive action could be military, diplomatic or economic, or a combination of all the three.

Amarinder Singh

Calling for the death of two "of them" for every Indian soldier killed in the attack on the CRPF convoy last Thursday, Singh said it's clear that the Pakistan Army was calling the shots, with Prime Minister Imran Khan also a "plant" of the military.

"We should get 82 of them since 41 of our men have been killed," asserted Singh, a former army captain, while demanding an "eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth".

Singh said it was for the Centre to decide what action should be taken, but it was clear that some measures have to be taken urgently. "India wants it now," he said.

"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," he said, according to an official release issued here.

Can't support decision to withdraw security to separatists in Kashmir: Sajad Lone

The chief minister said the Indian government should take "whatever measures" are required and "we will support them."

"Pakistan can't hold India to ransom just because they are a nuclear nation, even we are nuclear," he said, asserting that Indian forces had defeated them during the 1999 Kargil war in spite of their nuclear capability.

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

There is palpable anger across the country after the killing of CRPF jawans by a Jaish suicide bomber in Pulwama, he said.

"If they (Pak-backed terrorists) kill our soldiers, we have to do something," he said. The statement of the senior Congress leader came just days after his Cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu called for dialogue with Pakistan even after the Pulwama attack.

Sidhu had condemned the "cowardly" attack by the Pakistan-based terrorist group but he also called called for dialogue to find a "permanent solution" to end the bloodshed.

Calling for a proactive role in destroying the safe havens of terrorists, Amarinder Singh said terrorist organisations within Jammu and Kashmir have to be dealt with.

He said the Army should go after Jaish-e-Mohammad in Kashmir, instead of firing pellets and blinding youth. "Let's win their (youths) hearts and minds with love," he said.

The chief minister also said that questions are bound to be asked on intelligence failure in Pulwama attack and the central government will have to answer them.

He called for a global diplomatic offensive against Pakistan, mooting harsh measures to put a lid on Islamabad's anti-India actions.

The surgical strikes had not achieved the desired objective, he said, adding that Islamabad needs to be made to understand that Indian soldiers are not dispensable.

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