J&K: No U-turn in fight against terror, says minister at Accession Day event
Jitendra Singh also lashed out at those claiming that former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and present incumbent Modi held different doctrines on Kashmir.india Updated: Oct 26, 2017 21:24 IST
Minister of state in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh on Thursday took potshots at opposition parties in Jammu and Kashmir, stating that anti-militant operations and NIA raids would continue because “there is no U-turn in the BJP’s fight against terrorism”.
This assertion comes a couple of days after the Centre designated former Information Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma to parley with stakeholders in the Kashmir dispute.
Addressing a well-attended gathering here on the occasion of Accession Day, Singh claimed that there was no “Kashmir issue except taking back Pak-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK), for which the Indian parliament under the Congress government passed a unanimous resolution in 1994”.
He also sought to clarify on Sharma’s appointment. “Who says that he is an interlocutor?” asked Singh. “Dineshwar Sharma is a representative designated by the Union government to carry forward a sustained dialogue.”
The home ministry’s order also states that Singh has been appointed as “an Indian representative to carry forward a dialogue with elected representatives, various organisations and individuals concerned in the state of Jammu and Kashmir”. A copy of the document is in HT’s possession.
Singh cited the NIA raids on properties belonging to Salahuddin’s son, conducted after Sharma’s appointment, to state that there has been no let-up in the Centre’s fight against terrorism.
Shortly after Sharma’s appointment, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah had tweeted that the government’s acceptance of the issue’s political nature amounts to the defeat of those who see force as a solution.
Singh also lashed out at those claiming that former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and present incumbent Modi held different doctrines on Kashmir. “There is no difference… What former PM Vajpayee did for Kashmir is being followed by PM Modi. Vajpayee neither favoured Azadi for Kashmir nor its integration into Pakistan. He had trashed all such proposals. PM Modi is only pursuing what the BJP has always stood for vis-à-vis Kashmir,” he said.
Urging political detractors to get their facts straight by reading the history of Jammu and Kashmir, Singh asked the National Conference why it had boycotted the unveiling of a Maharaja Hari Singh statue in Jammu when it holds the last Dogra ruler in such high esteem.
He also criticised the main Opposition party and the Congress for misusing the legacy of Hari Singh and his state-subject laws to “fulfill their political interests”. “These people, who made Maharaja Hari Singh’s life difficult and never allowed him to live in peace in Mumbai during his last days, are now misleading the people by invoking him and his state subject laws for their petty politics on Article 35-A,” the minister said.
Singh then went on to say that Hari Singh’s state subject laws were entirely different from the permanent resident laws currently in place in Kashmir. “He had made four categories – Indians already living in J&K who were natural citizens; those coming to the state and settling down with a cut-off year; those given Izazatnama or Riyayatnama to settle down for a period of 10 years (extendable); and US companies that come for investment purposes. If the Maharaja’s state subject laws were applied, West Pakistan refugees would have been citizens of the state for over 65 years,” he said.