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BJP ups attack on Congress over Kashmir remarks by Ghulam Nabi Azad, Saifuddin Soz

In a Facebook post, BJP leader and Union minister Arun Jaitley said the dealing with a killer was not ‘muscular’ but simply the ‘rule of law’.

india Updated: Jun 22, 2018 23:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
BJP,Congress,Ghulam Nabi Azad
Security personnel on guard after shops, businesses and schools were shut down in response to a strike call given by separatists on June 21, 2018. (AP )

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday launched a no-holds-barred attack on the Congress over controversial remarks on Kashmir by Ghulam Nabi Azad and Saifuddin Soz.

Azad, leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, triggered a political row on Thursday by claiming that army operations in Kashmir had left more civilians dead than terrorists. Soz suggested in a soon-to-be-relased book that former Pakistan president Parvez Musharraf was right in saying that, given a chance, Kashmiris would prefer to be independent.

On Friday, Union minister Arun Jaitley reported by saying that to deal with a killer was not just a “muscular policy”. It’s a law and order issue that cannot wait for a political solution.

“This is not ‘muscular’. It is the rule of law,” the minister wrote in a Facebook post titled ‘Who is threatening human rights?’

“A fidayeen is willing to die,” he wrote. “He is also willing to kill. Should he be dealt with by offering Satyagraha before him?”

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi whether he will take action against Azad and Soz for their remarks.

Azad’s comments have drawn support from terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and will make Pakistan happy, Prasad said. The Congress’s commitment to the country has undergone a sea change since Rahul Gandhi took charge of the party in December, he said.

He described Azad’s comments as “shameful and irresponsible” and the Congress’s pathological hatred of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP had become a “corner stone” of its politics in which national interest at times takes a back seat.

Union minister Jitendra Singh said Congress leaders’ remarks will lead to questions whether the party and its leaders can be trusted to stake a claim for ruling the country.

“What we witness in Kashmir today is, in fact, a cumulative outcome of a series of blunders committed by the Congress leadership, beginning right from the infamous Nehruvian blunders,” Singh said.

The war of words between the BJP and the Congress came within days of the former pulling out of the ruling alliance with the People’s Democratic Party in J&K following a “worsening security situation”, a development which brought the state under governor’s rule.

Jaitley drew a parallel between Jehadis and Maoists, and questioned human rights organizations which, he said, “have never spoken about the deprivation of the human rights of the innocent citizens who are victims of their violence.”

“They have never a tear to shed in the indiscriminate killing of the security personnel,” he wrote.

Protecting India’s sovereignty and the right to life of its citizens are paramount, and a terrorist who declines to surrender and refuses a ceasefire offer has to be dealt with as anyone taking the law into his own hands is dealt with, he said.

According to Jaitley, Maoist-sponsored human rights organisations only espouse the cause of separatism and violence – be it Kashmir or Chhattisgarh. They, he claimed, have brought a bad name to the precious and valuable concept of human rights.

Jaitley said the ability of such organizations to coordinate with opinion makers in the western world and with global human rights organisations has to be recognised. These groups, he said, have also earned sympathy in the heart of Rahul Gandhi, who backed those who raised subversive slogans at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Hyderabad.

Leaders of the so called federal front have forgotten the dangers these groups pose to India and Indian democracy, Jaitley said, adding that“political adventurists” in parties like the Aam Aadmi Party, Trinamool Congress “and the like only look for a political opportunity in these groups”.

First Published: Jun 22, 2018 23:40 IST

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