Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday hailed the IAF air strikes targetting terrorist bases inside Pakistan in the aftermath of the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF troopers were killed.
“Great job by the #IndianAirForce. The #IAFStrikes have sent the much needed signal to Pakistan and the terrorists it’s harbouring – don’t think you can get away with acts like the #PulwamaAttack. Bravo to the #IAF men and my full support for the action,” he said in a tweet.
The Chief Minister chaired a high-level meeting with officials here to take stock of the situation following the IAF air strikes as Punjab shares a 553-km long international border with Pakistan.
The border districts – Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur and Fazilka – have been put on high alert following the IAF strike and their Deputy Commissioners and Senior Superintendents of Police have been asked to put in place all contingency plans to ensure the protection and safety of the citizens.
“We are on top of the situation in wake of the #IndianAirForce #airstrike. Discussed all eventualities with top civil & police officials. We’ve put the border areas on high alert & I’ll visit the area tomorrow for an on-ground assessment. I appeal to the people to remain calm,” Amarinder Singh said in another tweet.
The Chief Minister will visit the border areas from Pathankot to Ferozepur by road on Wednesday, an official spokesperson announced after the meeting where top brass of the administration and police including Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Home Secretary N.S. Kalsi, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta and DGP Intelligence V.K. Bhawara were present.
“The meeting found no need for panic and decided against any move to evacuate the residents of the border areas,” the spokesperson said.
The chief minister’s Media Advisor, Raveen Thukral, who was also present at the meeting, said that Amarinder Singh directed officials to monitor the situation closely and not let down their guard under any circumstances.
“The state government is in touch with the Union Home and Defence ministries to remain abreast of the situation. The government is fully prepared to deal with any eventuality,” Thukral said.
The Chief Minister also spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the situation.
Immediately after the deadly Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy, Amarinder Singh, a former Army captain, had made it clear that he was in favour of strong retaliatory action against Pakistan and said that the Congress would support any course of action decided by the Central government.
“They have killed 41, we should kill 82 of theirs,” he had said, without mincing words.
Amarinder Singh had also said that if Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan could not arrest the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, who was operating from Pakistani soil, then “we will do it for him.”