CHANDIGARH, April 24: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt Amarinder Singh today slammed the Sikhs for Justice for playing into the hands of the Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Aam Aadmi Party at the same time by trying to abuse an otherwise well meaning and well intentioned law aimed at protecting and safeguarding the human rights of the Canadian citizens across the world.
The former Punjab Chief Minister also urged the Canadian authorities, both in the government and the judiciary, to ensure that the law is not misused and abused for vested political interests by groups like the SFJ whose anti-India credentials are too well known, and ends up in the harassment of innocent and well meaning people without any shade of evidence against them. “Otherwise this law will undermine and defeat the very purpose for which it has been enacted”, he observed.
At the same time he suggested that the government of India must take up the matter of summoning of its leaders and public representatives by the courts in Canada with the Canadian government. “We just cannot be equated with dictatorships where there are no judicial systems and processes in place”, he said, adding, “this involves the question of the sovereignty of a nation with such a strong and transparent judicial system in place and an insult to both (the sovereignty and the judiciary)”.
Capt Amarinder rejected the allegations levelled in the complaint against him lodged in a Canadian court by the SFJ that there were torture cases of Canadian citizens reported during his Chief Ministership and the police officials allegedly involved in such incidents had been promoted by him.
“First of all there were no such incidents between 2002 and 2007 when I was the Chief Minister as it was the most peaceful period in Punjab in the recent history”, he asserted, while asking, “presuming for the sake of argument that such incidents took place, why did it take someone more than ten years to file a complaint and that too when I was planning to visit the country and why were these complaints not made when I came here in 2004 as the Chief Minister of Punjab?”
Referring to the promotions of some police officials accused of torture, between 2002 and 2007, he said, those officers are governed by the Indian Police Service rules over which the state governments do not have any control.
“Besides, we have a strong, transparent and powerful judicial system already in place in our country which takes care of everything”, he said, while pointing out, so many such officers have already been prosecuted and punished by the courts back home in India, while others are facing prosecution.
However, he added, these officials were prosecuted for the allegations of torture allegedly committed by them in 1980s and 1990s, decades before he (Capt Amarinder) became the Chief Minister of Punjab.
Asserting that the SFJ was playing into the hands of the anti-India forces like the ISI to embarrass India and project as if rights violations was the norm of the day in the country (India) like some dictatorships in different parts of the world, Capt Amarinder said, the government of India, rising above political considerations must take up the matter with the Canadian government at the highest level.
He asked, has the SFJ ever lodged any such complaint against the visiting leaders from Pakistan, where a Sikh parliamentarian was gunned down just for his religion?
He also asked as why did the SFJ not object to the Aam Aadmi Party leader HS Phoolka when he addressed the public functions in Canada with a clear political message? “And will the SFJ raise similar objections when Arvind Kejriwal will visit Canada by invoking the Canadian policy that prevented me from addressing public functions?” he asked.