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Saturday 18 January 2020

Hurriyat not in this govt’s scheme of things

Home Minister Amit Shah has ruled out talks with the Hurriyat Conference: 'We don't want to talk to Hurriyat, but we ready to speak to people of Kashmir'

New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said in Lok Sabha that India would continue to claim the territories of Jammu and Kashmir under the occupation of Pakistan and ruled out any talks with the union of Kashmiri separatists called the Hurriyat Conference.

Shah said the Modi government would, in the foreseeable future, make Jammu and Kashmir a State again when normalcy returns. He was replying to a question in the course of a debate on the parliamentary resolution for abrogating some provisions of Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019. At the same time, Shah said, “India will continue to claim Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.”

Shah said Article 370 was creating doubts over Jammu and Kashmir’s relations with India. “This (the resolution passed yesterday by the Rajya Sabha and being debated today in the Lok Sabha) is not a historical blunder but we are rectifying a historical blunder,” he said while he dismissed the Congress’s charge that the government was committing a mistake.

The home minister strongly refuted the suggestion that the act of turning Article 370 defunct was part of a “communal agenda”. He said the provision in the Constitution was discriminatory and against the minorities, women and welfare of the people.

The home minister ruled out talks with the Hurriyat Conference. “We don’t want to talk to Hurriyat, but we ready to speak to people of Kashmir,” he said.

Shah said over 41,500 people were killed in Jammu and Kashmir due to militancy since 1989 and blamed Article 370 and Article 35A for the problem.

The home minister said the law-and-order situation in the State had not deteriorated and whatever actions had been taken were all precautionary. He was defending the government’s action to put restrictions in the Valley in the last two days.

The government had on Monday revoked some provisions of Article 370 to take away Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. It proposed a division of the State too, splitting it into two Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Fulfilling an electoral promise of the BJP less than 90 days after the Modi 2.0 government took power, Shah had announced the decision in Rajya Sabha, which approved both the resolution and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill.

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