NEW DELHI: Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh tore into his Congress critics on Monday over allegations that his friend, Pakistani journalist Aroosa Alam, has links with ISI. Lashing out at the “narrow-mindedness” of some Congress leaders, Amarinder posted a series of pictures on his Facebook page in which Alam can be seen with various Indian politicians and celebrities, including the likes of late former Union minister Sushma Swaraj, Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Yadav and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha. “I suppose they are all also contacts of the ISI. Those who say so should think before speaking,” Singh said in a stinging riposte. Earlier too, Singh had posted pictures of Alam with Congress president Sonia Gandhi amid attacks from the Punjab Congress leaders.
“Unfortunately visas are banned at the moment between India and Pakistan. Otherwise I would invite her again. Incidentally I am going to be 80 in March and Mrs Alam 69 next year. Narrow minded ness seems to be order of the day,” Singh further said in his Facebook post. Amarinder’s ongoing war of words with Congress leaders following his exit as the chief minister had escalated last week when Punjab deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa called for a probe to ascertain Alam’s links with Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence. Alam is a Pakistan-based journalist who reports on defence. Singh had earlier said that 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. “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 had quoted him as saying on Twitter on Friday. Randhawa, who also holds the home portfolio in Punjab, had claimed that Singh has been friends with Alam for years. 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 had 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 had said. (With inputs from PTI)