Probe will check if Amarinder’s Pakistan friend has ISI links: Punjab Deputy CM


PTI, Oct 23, 2021, 9:50 AM IST

Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has said a probe would be carried out to ascertain whether Aroosa Alam, a Pakistani journalist who has been visiting former chief minister Amarinder Singh for several years, has links with the ISI.

Singh hit back at the Congress leader, saying Randhawa is now resorting to personal attacks.

The deputy chief minister said it “would be probed” whether Alam has any links with Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), adding that he has asked the director general of police (DGP) to look into it.

Singh said Alam had been coming to India for 16 years with due clearances from the Centre.

“As far as who sponsored Aroosa’s visa, of course I did, for 16 years,” he said.

“You were a minister in my cabinet@Sukhjinder_INC. Never heard you complain about Aroosa Alam.

“And she’d been coming for 16 years with due GoI clearances. Or are you alleging that both NDA and @INC India led UPA govts in this period connived with Pak ISI?” the former chief minister’s media adviser quoted him as saying on Twitter on Friday.

Randhawa, who also holds the home portfolio in Punjab, claimed that Singh has been friends with Alam for years, she stayed in India for many years and her visa was extended by the Centre from time to time.

He told reporters in Jalandhar on Thursday that it was only after the recent developments in the Punjab Congress, which saw Singh’s exit as the chief minister, that Alam went back to Pakistan.

Randhawa said when Singh was the chief minister, he kept saying that being a border state, Punjab always faced a threat with several seizures of drones and ammunition coming in from across the border.

“Aroosa was in India for four-and-a-half years and her visa was also extended from time to time. Why did Delhi not cancel her visa? Why did she leave India when we went against Amarinder Singh?” he asked, referring to developments in the Punjab Congress last month.

“I think all this needs to be probed and Captain Amarinder too will have to give answers to these questions,” the Congress leader added.

Hitting back at Randhawa, Singh said, “So now you’re resorting to personal attacks @Sukhjinder_INC. One month after taking over this is all you have to show to the people. What happened to your tall promises on Bargari & drugs cases? Punjab is still waiting for your promised action.”

He said instead of focussing on maintaining law and order, the deputy chief minister has put the DGP on a “baseless investigation”.

“What I’m worried about @Sukhjinder_INC is that instead of focusing on maintaining law and order at a time when terror threat is high and festivals are around the corner, you’ve put @DGP Punjab Police on a baseless investigation at the cost of Punjab’s safety,” he said.

Randhawa stepped up his attack on Singh in a series of tweets on Friday.

“By the way sir @capt amarinder why are you so perturbed over probe on Aroosa and ISI links? Who sponsored her visa and everything concerning her will be thoroughly probed. I do hope everyone concerned will co-operate with police in probe,” he tweeted.

Replying back, Singh’s media adviser quoted him as saying, “Perturbed? Have you ever seen me perturbed on any issue in all these years @Sukhjinder_INC? In fact, you seem to be perturbed and confused, if your flip flops are any indication. Why don’t you make up your mind on this so-called probe against Aroosa Alam?”

“As far who sponsored Aroosa’s visa, of course I did, for 16 years. And FYI, @Sukhjinder_INC, requests for such visas are sent by Indian HC to @MEA India, which gets them cleared by RAW & IB before approving. And that’s what happened in this case every time,” he said.

“What’s more@Sukhjinder_INC, a detailed inquiry was conducted in 2007, when I was no longer CM, by NSA on order of then UPA PM before granting visa to Aroosa Alam. You still want to waste Punjab’s resources on this? I’ll help you with whatever you need,” Singh said.

Randhawa wrote on Twitter: “I am a true nationalist and you better know @capt amarinder from which point our differences erupted. Whereas, you don’t worry about law and order situation as we have not outsourced the Punjab govt to ‘anyone’. Now, police is protecting people, not cheekus and seetafal.”

He also took on Singh over the issue of sacrilege cases.

“It was you who failed to take the probe in Maur blast, Bargari sacrilege and drugs cases to logical conclusions. Rest assured, all these cases will be taken to logical conclusion in coming days,” the deputy chief minister said.

“Almighty is always great as you@ capt amarinder have suffered because you failed to fulfil the commitment towards Guru Sahib even after taking oath of holy ‘Gutka Sahib’. Punjab is and will remain in safe hands under@INCPunjab government,” he added.

Singh said “as far as Bargari inquiry, I dare you @Sukhjinder_INC to swear on Guru Granth Sahib ji & deny that both investigating officers Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh (now an AAP leader) & Ranbir Singh Khatra were appointed on your recommendations. Do your job instead of making wild charges against me”.

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