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Published On: Mon, Jul 1st, 2019

J &K : Will Win Their Hearts, Says Home Minister Amit Shah

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amit-shah (1)NEW DELHI : Union Minister Amit Shah, responding to the debate on the bill to extend President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir, said the government will preserve “Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat” — terms first used by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee while speaking of a healing touch for the state. But renewing the promise, Mr Shah also delivered a warning.

“Modi government’s commitment to the policy of ‘Jamhooriyat, Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat’ should not be taken to mean that the forces that want to divide India will be spared. They will be given an appropriate response in their same language,” Mr Shah said.

Responding to criticism that the BJP was trying to run Jammu and Kashmir through proxy by invoking Article 356 (pertaining to President’s Rule) of the Constitution, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said his party did not need resort to such measures as it already has enough presence in other states.

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Shah said that President’s rule was not being implemented in the state as a means for the BJP to rule it by proxy. “(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi is already popular throughout the country to an extent that we have our governments in 16 states. We don’t need backdoor provisions to rule another state,” he said.
Criticising the Congress, Shah said that Article 356 has been invoked 132 times since Independence – of this, the grand old party was responsible for invoking it 93 times. “We all know how the Congress offered the playbook of misusing provisions of Article 356 when it unlawfully invoked the article to dismiss the Communist government in Kerala,” he said.
To questions about why the government had not facilitated holding Assembly polls along with the Lok Sabha elections in the state, Shah said security forces themselves had informed the Election Commission that they would be unable to handle the security of so many candidates if simultaneous polls were held in the Valley.

“I consider it our collective failure that we could not create suitable conditions in Kashmir where we could provide security cover to thousands of candidates standing in Assembly elections and in Lok Sabha elections,” he said.
“Our forces themselves said they were unable to provide security to so many candidates since elections were happening elsewhere in the country also. But whenever the Election Commission finds the time suitable to conduct elections, I can assure you not a single day will be wasted by us in facilitating assembly elections in the state.”

Last month, the EC had said that dates for Assembly elections in the statewould be announced after the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra, which started on Monday. The pilgrimage will conclude on August 15. Shah said the current government at the Centre has zero tolerance towards terrorism.
“All parties know Kashmir is ours and Kashmir will remain ours,” he said, assuring the Parliament that Kashmir would remain an integral part of the country. “We do not want to mislead people on Nehru but lessons have to be learnt from historical blunders,” he said. “All Kashmir problems were due to Nehru declaring ceasefire when one-third of Kashmir was with Pakistan.”
Two bills regarding the state – the resolution to extend President’s rule for a period of six months and the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 – were passed by the Rajya Sabha.
Shah also said that the government was interesting in reaching out to the people of Kashmir. “We will win their hearts and we will embrace them,” he said. choing the sentiments of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Shah said his government would also work on the principle of “Kashmiriyat, Jamhooriyat, Insaniyat”.

“But where were was ‘insaniyat’ (humanity) when Sufis and Pandits of Kashmir were being killed, their places of worship were being destroyed?” he asked. “Why did the same people, who are reminding us of these principles now, failed to raise their voice then?”While defining the terms, the minister questioned what is understood as “Kashmiriyat”.”I agree that we need to preserve Kashmiriyat. But I have a question which I want to place before you and the people,” Amit Shah said.
“Kashmiri Pandits – they were thrown out of the state. Were they not part of Kashmiriyat? When the Sufis were attacked, Sufi saints were murdered, those who used to talk of Hindu-Muslim unity, they were also thrown out of Kashmir. Wasn’t the Sufi tradition a part of Kashmiriyat?” he went on to add.
The government’s motto of development has been inherent in the term “Insaniyat”. It encompasses schools for children, toilets for women, electricity, welfare schemes and food, he said. Jamhooriyat, or democracy, is what the government is hoping to achieve through the bill, he said.
Mr Shah’s bill for the extension of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir was passed in the Rajya Sabha today with support from Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party and Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal.
Meanwhile,Kashmiri Pandits have welcomed Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement on Article 370 of the Constitution where he calls the provision “temporary in nature”.They further said the time was ripe for the provision to scrapped.
In a statement on Saturday, Panun Kashmir, an organisation of migrant Kashmiri pandits, said they have complete faith in the abilities of Shah to deliver a mortal blow to the sponsors of terrorism in the Valley and under Shah the Kashmiri Pandits would finally be rehabilitated in their more than 5,000-year-old home Amit Shah, on Friday, had said Article 370, which provides special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was “temporary in nature” and “not permanent”.

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