New Delhi, December 6
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would return to power after the 2024 General Election, and hoped that by 2026, terrorism would be completely eliminated from Jammu and Kashmir.
Shah was replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha on the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill before both the legislations were passed by the Lower House.
The Home Minister said the government’s focus was on ending the ecosystem which had been aiding and abetting terrorism in J&K for years. The plan for zero-terror incident in J&K was in force for the last three years and would be successful by 2026, he added.
Blaming the previous governments for endless terrorism in J&K, he said had militancy been tackled at the very outset “without considering vote-bank politics,” Kashmiri Pandits wouldn’t have had to leave the Valley.
During the debate, the BJP and the Congress had a heated exchange over the role of Jawaharlal Nehru in Kashmir. Shah blamed the first Prime Minister’s “two major blunders” — declaring a ceasefire without winning the entire Kashmir and taking the issue to the United Nations — for the sufferings of the people of J&K. He said if Nehru had taken the right steps, a large chunk of territory would not have been ceded and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir would have been part of India.
Citing two “blunders” by Nehru, Shah said: “First, was to agree to the ceasefire (in 1948) when our forces were just three days away from claiming the territory that is now PoK; and second, was the matter of taking the issue to the UN.” Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Aadhir Ranjan Chaudhary said: “You are using Nehru as a whipping boy and blaming him… it was Patel who tried to negotiate with Liaquat Ali Khan (Pakistan PM then) to take Kashmir and leave Hyderabad for India.” After an uproar by Opposition members over Shah’s remarks on Nehru, they staged a walkout but later returned. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said the remarks made were not an insult to anyone and were only made to put things in context.
Talking about the abrogation of Article 370, Shah said it had nothing to do with going back on promise as it was a temporary Article and had to go. “You did not have the courage, PM Narendra Modi showed courage and did away with it,” he said, hitting out at the Opposition. Shah said the two Bills would give justice to those deprived of their rights for the last 70 years and asserted that reservation to the displaced people would give them a voice in the legislature. He said that had terrorism been tackled at the beginning without considering vote-bank politics, Kashmiri Pandits would not have had to leave the Kashmir valley.
Post the abrogation of Article 370, there has been 70 per cent reduction in terror cases, Shah said, adding that stone-throwing was down to zero. “Today nobody has the guts to even throw a pebble in Kashmir,” he said. The National Investigation Agency has filed 32 cases of terror financing and movie theatres have reopened in the Valley after 30 years, Shah added.
Bid to end terror ecosystem
- More than 45,000 people have lost their lives due to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir so far, Amit Shah told the LS
- The government is now focusing on ending the terror ecosystem in J&K
- The plan for zero-terror incidents in J&K has been in force for three years and will be successful by 2026
Focusing on justice
The Bills aim at delivering justice to people who have been deprived of it for the past 70 years. — Amit Shah, Home Minister
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