PDP splits up J&K in map, says no apologies | india | Hindustan Times
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PDP splits up J&K in map, says no apologies

Reacting to the criticism from the ruling coalition and also Home Minister P Chidambaram that showing a part of Kashmir in China was ` a big mistake’, People’s Democratic Party today said the `controversy was `uneccessary.’

india Updated: Feb 14, 2011 20:20 IST

PDP today remained defiant on the map controversy, saying that the Centre should appreciate that it is the "only party" which includes parts of Jammu and Kashmir illegally occupied by China in its scheme of resolution.

"We are the only party which has included the territory of Jammu and Kashmir illegally occupied by China in our scheme of resolution to the issue and the Central leadership should appreciate it," PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said in Srinagar.

Indicating that the Union Home Minister had reacted a little hastily, Mehbooba said though she had very high regard for P Chidambaram, he should rather focus on other issues concerning China like the stapled visas for residents of J&K and Arunachal Pradesh.

"They should do something about the Chinese incursions into Leh region of our state. The Centre should not get touchy, rattled or bullied by China," she said. Mehbooba said PDP supported reunification of all territories of Jammu and Kashmir as it existed before the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.

"Is it wrong to do that?" she asked. The main opposition party in the state is at the centre of a controversy after it displayed a map, during a power-point presentation on Saturday, showing Aksai Chin painted in red and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in green.

The depiction of the map is seen as an acceptance of the occupation of these areas by the respective countries. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah yesterday criticised the PDP's depiction of the state, saying "gifting away" territory was not acceptable.

"It is up to the PDP how they would want to clear this (map). I don not think it is acceptable to anyone that part of state's territory is gifted away like this," he had said.

Omar, however, said that he was in favour of making the borders irrelevant that would ensure free trade and travel between the sides of divided state. Later, Mehbooba, in a statement here, said it was time for Government of India to move beyond "management mindset" in Jammu and Kashmir to initiate actual resolution process that could close the chapter of pain, suffering and uncertainty in the state.

"The Kashmir issue had been discussed enough in different forums to know after 63 years of turmoil how to resolve the festering problem.

Any more discussions that do not focus actual resolution is prone to be seen only as a delaying tactics by the people of the state," she said.

"What more do we want to tell the world or educate ourselves about through these conferences even as our people continue to suffer denial of rights?" Mehbooba said Government of India had to make real movement towards resolution and side-by-side "have official repression stopped that has created an unprecedented situation of desperation in Kashmir especially among the youth."

Referring to various aspects of Kashmir resolution, she said times have changed since the partition of the country and so have the perceptions about political sovereignty. "It is possible to accommodate the political and economic aspirations of a people without actually fiddling with political boundaries," she said.