NEW DELHI: Days after he drew flak for questioning India's long-established position on Kashmir, Congress lawmaker Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Thursday swung into a damage control mode and called it "internal issue" of the country. He, however, asserted that Kashmir's condition is like that of a "concentration camp" after the repeal of Constitution's Article 370.
"No country has the right to intervene in our internal matter. It is up to us how our government wants to run the country. Our country has the right to decide which law to pass in the nation," he told ANI.
On Tuesday, during a debate in Lok Sabha on a resolution to abrogate special status to Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, he asked as to how Kashmir issue was an "internal matter" if "United Nations is monitoring it since 1948."
His remarks were not only are contrary to New Delhi's decade-old stand on Kashmir but is also in stark contrast to the country's views on U.N. Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), a group of UN military observers deputed in 1949 to supervise the ceasefire between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking to ANI on Thursday, Chowdhury stated, "Prime Minister had announced from Red Fort that we'll take Kashmiris forward not with bullets but by embracing them, but today, the situation in Kashmir is similar to that of a concentration camp."
He said the Centre was creating an environment in the Valley which gives people a chance to raise questions.
The Congress leader also clarified that he was seeking answers from the government on the issue and was not against the country's stand on the matter.
"Questioning the government does not mean opposing the country. We are also the citizen of the nation, we have the right to know," he said.
Chawdhary said Pakistan's move to downgrade diplomatic relations and cut bilateral trade with India has fallen on expected lines.
Parliament stripped of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 of the Constitution on Tuesday and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.