'No room for Pakistan to interfere in Kashmir': Rahul changes stance on Article 370

The Gandhi scion's statement on Wednesday was a complete u-turn from his previous attack on the Modi government on the Article 370 issue.

Published: 28th August 2019 10:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th August 2019 11:42 AM   |  A+A-

Congress President Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (File | EPS)

By Online Desk

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that Kashmir is India's internal issue and there is no room for Pakistan or any other country to intervene.

"I disagree with this government on many issues. But, let me make this absolutely clear: Kashmir is India’s internal issue and there is no room for Pakistan or any other foreign country to interfere in it", the Gandhi scion said.

"There is violence in Jammu & Kashmir. There is violence because it is instigated and supported by Pakistan which is known to be the prime supporter of terrorism across the world," he further added.

Supporting Rahul, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said, "Let no one in the world be in doubt that Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh were, are and shall always remain an integral part of India. No amount of diabolical deception by Pakistan shall change this irrevocable truth."

"We have noticed reports citing an alleged petition moved by the Pakistani government in United Nations on J&K, wherein the name of Rahul Gandhi has been mischievously dragged to justify the pack of lies & deliberate misinformation being spread by Pakistan," he further added.

Surjewala said Pakistan should instead answer to the world about the "unpardonable and inhumane violations of human rights" in PoK-Gilgit-Hunza-Balochistan.

The neighbouring country also owed an explanation for the "designed persecution" of over seven crore Mohajirs (Muslim immigrants of multi-ethnic origin and their descendants, who migrated from various regions of India to Pakistan after the independence of Pakistan) and the killing of over 25,000 of them by its forces, he added.

The Congress leader said besides the instances of human rights violations in Balochistan, thousands had gone missing and mass graves were being uncovered by different agencies.

"The entire world witnessed the horrific murder of 128 innocents on 13th July 2018 during an election rally by Balochistan Awami Movement. The gross abuse of human rights of Pashtun people in the tribal regions by the Pakistani Army as also the systematic persecution and prosecution of Ahmadiyya Religious community is yet to be answered by Pakistan," he said.

Let the world be reminded again that almost every terrorist organisation thrives in Pakistan under political and military patronage, be it Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Hizbul Mujahideen, Al-Qaeda or Taliban and its multiple offshoots," the Congress leader said.

"We urge that Pakistan should answer these issues, both internally to its people as also to the international community, instead of raising the fake Kashmir bogey," he added.

ALSO READ | Valley high schools to reopen on Wednesday, SC to hear petitions on Article 370 abrogation

The Gandhi scion's statement on Wednesday was a complete u-turn from his previous attack on the Modi government on the Article 370 issue.

On Sunday, he said that the Opposition and the press got a taste of the "draconian administration" and "brute force" unleashed on the people there when they tried to visit Srinagar.

A delegation of opposition leaders, including Rahul, which wanted to visit the Valley to take stock of the situation after the withdrawal of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, was not allowed to leave the Srinagar airport on Saturday by the state administration and had to return to the national capital.

"It's been 20 days since the people of Jammu & Kashmir had their freedom and civil liberties curtailed," Rahul said in a previous tweet.

ALSO READ | Terror suspects, separatists from J&K moved to UP, Haryana jails

"Leaders of the Opposition and the Press got a taste of the draconian administration and brute force unleashed on the people of J&K when we tried to visit Srinagar yesterday," he said.

The former Congress president also posted a video of Saturday's events, showing him unsuccessfully trying to convince authorities that he was invited by Governor Satya Pal Malik.

Rahul was referring to Malik's offer to "send an aircraft" for him to visit the state, after the Congress leader had said, "People were dying in the state and the situation was not normal as claimed by the government."

The video also showed authorities reading out an order to the opposition leaders, and Rahul Gandhi addressing the media.

He is heard alleging that media persons accompanying the delegation were mishandled and beaten up.

ALSO READ | MHA refuses information to Lucknow-based RTI activist on Article 370 abrogation

He also says it is clear that things are "not normal" in Jammu and Kashmir.

On Sunday, a day after the failed opposition visit, Rahul's sister and senior Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi posted a video on Twitter in which a woman is seen telling Rahul Gandhi, on the flight from Srinagar, the problems being faced by her family and loved ones.

"How long is this going to continue? This is one out of millions of people who are being silenced and crushed in the name of 'Nationalism'," she said in a tweet accompanying the video.

"For those who accuse the opposition of 'politicising' this issue: There is nothing more 'political' and 'anti-national' than the shutting down of all democratic rights that is taking place in Kashmir," Priyanka Gandhi said.

"It is the duty of every one of us to raise our voices against it, we will not stop doing so," she added.

ALSO READ | After criticism, Press Council to tell SC it does not approve media restrictions in J&K 

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said it was "quite clear" that the Governor's invitation to Rahul Gandhi to visit Kashmir was not sincere.

"No wonder my proposal during the Kashmir debate in Parliament to permit an all-party delegation to visit, got no reply. Government can't be open about what it's doing," he tweeted.

Earlier this month, the government had revoked J&K's special status under Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

During Saturday's attempt to visit the Valley, Gandhi was accompanied by leaders of CPI(M), CPI, DMK, NCP, JD(S), RJD, LJD and TMC.

The leaders included Congress's Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and KC Venugopal, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury , Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Sharad Yadav (LJD), Dinesh Trivedi (TMC), D Raja (CPI), Majeed Menon (NCP), Manoj Jha (RJD) and D Kupendra Reddy JD(S).

Saturday evening, J-K Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal told reporters that the priority is to maintain security and law and order at a time when the threat of cross-border terrorism continues to exist.

"They (delegation members) had been requested to not visit the Valley," he said.

(With PTI Inputs)

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  • L narasimhamurthy

    Rahul has eggs on his face .his present comment on Kashmir is because his earlier tirade on modi government scrapping article 370 has led to lot of discontent among the public. Now rahul is trying to pose as a nationalist. But the damage has been done and it is too late for rahul to wear nationalist credentials.
    1 month ago reply
  • Subbumahalingam Ramani

    This is the problem when one does not understand the problem abetted
    1 month ago reply
  • Harish Shenoy

    Your friend #ImrankhanPTI has given you a taste of your own medicine
    1 month ago reply
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