HTLS 2021: On restoration of J-K statehood, Amit Shah talks about process
Union home minister Amit Shah said Jammu and Kashmir's statehood would be restored only after elections and those demanding it were merely trying to create a political controversy as he talked about the development in the Union territory at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on Saturday.
“There is a political demand that first statehood is restored in Jammu and Kashmir and then elections must be held. Parliament has passed a law for delimitation in the region. So, first delimitation will happen, then elections will be held and the process of restoration of statehood will begin,” Amit Shah said while speaking during a session moderated by Shashi Shekhar, the editor-in-chief of Hindustan, on the final day of HTLS 2021.
“I have said this many times. But they are only trying to create a political controversy,” he added in the session also attended by Hindustan Times’ chairperson and editorial director Shobhana Bhartia.
Asked about the recent killing of civilians, particularly non-Muslim outsiders and Kashmiri pandits, Shah talked about the recent statement by National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah that Kashmir will see peace only when Article 370 is restored.
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“Article 370 was there for 75 years, why was there no peace? If there is a relationship between Article 370 and peace, was it not there in the 1990s. Use any dimension to assess (law and order)… include the (recent) targeted killings (of civilians), we will not reach even 10 per cent (of what the situation was earlier). This means that peace has been restored.”
Shah said people have criticised him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for imposing curfew and banning internet in the region. However, he said, it was to ensure the safety of the local people.
“I asked the youth there, who would die if the curfew is removed and they said ‘we would’. So, what do people opposing the curfew want is something the people of the country should determine,” Shah said.
The home minister also said that Kashmir is being prioritised for social welfare programmes in India and citizens of the Union territory have welcomed the change.
I believe the people of Kashmir welcome this change. I appeal to all political parties there to participate in the democratic process,” he added.
While giving the keynote address earlier at HTLS, Shah said that India witnessed a stable government after 2014 after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed a government at the Centre and since then the country has been on a path of development.
“PM Modi has successfully solved many issues with patience and planning. PM Modi included 80 crore people who were never a part of the country's progress,” he said.