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Chidambaram’s comments betray how little understanding Congress has about Kashmir: Jaitley

Finance minister Arun Jaitley asserted that the Kashmir issue was Pakistan’s “unfinished agenda post partition” and Pakistan had been indulging in war and terrorism to create trouble

india Updated: Oct 29, 2017 23:27 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Shimla
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley interacts with the media during launch of BJP Golden Vision document for the Assembly elections, in Shimla on Sunday. (PTI Photo)

Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday came down heavily on former home minister P Chidambaram claiming his comments on Kashmir had come at a very “inopportune” time when the government was dealing with terrorism with a heavy hand and terrorists were on the run.

Chidambaram’s remarks that the state of Jammu and Kashmir should be given more rights, are inopportune and reflect the little understanding that Congress has about the Kashmir issue, Jaitley said.

“Does he mean that inadequacy of rights is the cause of the Kashmir problem? And what more rights he wants when all the rights and powers except defence, external affairs, telecommunication and currency are with the state,” he said.

More rights would mean a return to the pre-1952 situation when the state had a separate president, prime minister and flag and was out of the purview of the supreme court and the chief election commission, the Union finance minister added.

Asserting that the Kashmir issue was Pakistan’s “unfinished agenda post partition”, Jaitley said the neighbouring country had been indulging in war and terrorism to create trouble.

He added that through the efforts of the government, terrorist funding had been squeezed, incidents of stone- pelting by mobs stopped and terrorist were on the run.

Senior Congress leader and former Union home minister P Chidambaram had pitched for greater autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir yesterday.

“The demand in the Kashmir Valley is to respect the letter and spirit of Article 370, that means they want greater autonomy. My interactions in J&K led me to the conclusion that when they ask for azadi, mostly, I am not saying all... the overwhelming majority, they want autonomy,” he told reporters in Gujarat’s Rajkot.

“Yes, I do,” Chidambaram said when asked if he thought that Jammu and Kashmir should be given greater autonomy.

First Published: Oct 29, 2017 23:27 IST