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UPA overturning India's Kashmir policy: BJP

Source: PTI
February 13, 2010 19:46 IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday accused the United Progressive Alliance government of overturning India's Kashmir policy by making 'dangerous' proposals like facilitating the return of Kashmiri youths from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.

"The government is now saying that the young men who had gone to PoK for arms training have had a change of heart and proposes to facilitate their return to India. This is a dangerous statement and is not in favour of the country," senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said.

The former Union minister asked the government on what basis it had drawn the conclusion that these young men had a change of heart. "Was any study done to find this out? Or is this being done under international pressure? Is there any guarantee that once they come back, they will not engage in terror? What if they do so covertly? Is there any record of how many and who all went to POK," Joshi asked.

Drawing a contrast with the government's policy towards Kashmiri Pandits, who had to flee Jammu and Kashmir during the height of militancy, he said nothing had been done for them. "They (Kashmiri Pandits) are also Indians but you (UPA government) have nothing for them in your hearts? They had to suffer cultural genocide and ethnic cleansing when they were uprooted from Kashmir," he said.

Joshi alleged that the government was speaking in different voices on the Kashmir issue and was 'tolerant' towards Pakistan despite the problems it was creating in Jammu and Kashmir.

"This shows the government has overturned the Kashmir policy. Parliament had unanimously agreed that the whole of Kashmir is a part of India and the country always went by this understanding. But the UPA government could not stand by this policy and has now started backtracking," he said.

Joshi mentioned the recent joint statement between India and Pakistan at Sharm-el-Sheikh and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's earlier contention in Havana that Pakistan too was a victim of terror. "The prime minister's statement in Havana is a surprising statement. In Pakistan, its own Jihadis are propagating terror in the country. The Sharm-el-Sheikh statement included the mention of Balochistan and has been condemned by all parties," he said.

The former BJP president alleged that the UPA government was exploring the option of granting autonomy to Kashmir as shown by the report of the Justice Saghir Ahmed Committee.

"The government seems to be going back to the pre-1953 position. This means that the Indian Constitution will not be applicable in Jammu and Kashmir. The Supreme Court and the Election Commission will have no jurisdiction in the state," he said.

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