Indian Punjab CM calls off proposed trip to Pakistan
NEW DELHI: Indian Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh called off his proposed visit to Lahore following the ‘negative attitude’ of the Union government on his foreign visit.
“Upset over the negative attitude regarding the clearance of his foreign visits by the Union government, Mr Singh, has finally dropped his visit to Lahore, scheduled in the last week of January,” said Indian daily The Tribune.
Mr Singh was of the view that as the Union Government had not responded to his request for permission to date, the idea to go to Lahore should be dropped. He was to go there to attend the World Punjabi Conference in Lahore starting from January 29.
“There would be no time left for preparations to visit Lahore as permission has not yet been granted,” said the report quoting a senior officer. “If permission had been granted by now, Mr Singh would have definitely gone to Pakistan,” the officer added.
Earlier, commenting on the non-clearance of his foreign visit, Mr Singh said that the Bhartia Janta Party (BJP)-led government at the centre was discriminating against Punjab because the Congress government was governing it.
“A few days ago, the Pakistani Punjab chief minister contacted me on the phone to extend the invitation to visit Lahore, but the Union Government seemed to have pushed my case for permission aside,” he added. “The BJP should keep the country before the party,” he said.
Mr Singh said the opening of the Wagah border for trade between India and Pakistan would provide an opportunity to the state for development. He said if the Union Government had permitted him to go, he would have taken up various issues. —APP