Clear message gone to terrorists, separatists; their activities not acceptable: Jaitley

‘Rule of law effectively being imposed in J&K’
NC, PDP played disappointing role

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Apr 15: Asserting that the issue of Jammu & Kashmir and terrorism remained the biggest challenge before India, Union Finance Minister and veteran BJP leader Arun Jaitley today said that the Central Government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, for the last few months, sent out a clear message that terror and activities of separatists will not be acceptable in the Kashmir valley.

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In a blog written exclusively on Jammu and Kashmir and terrorism, Jaitley said, that terrorists in large numbers are being liquidated by our security forces, their modules are being cracked up, rule of law is effectively being imposed and activities of the separatists have been curtailed.
“Terrorism from across the border is attacked at the point of origin,” he said.
Asserting that an important question before the country is who is best suited to handle the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and terrorism, he said obviously it cannot be solved by those whose policies created that problem and who are no longer willing to change their track. Though he did not name the Congress, the reference to the party was obvious.
“It (the Kashmir problem and terrorism) cannot be solved by those who linked battle against terror with the vote bank politics of their parties. It cannot be solved by those who believe that a loose Constitutional connect will lead to integration even though the experience of seven decades is to the contrary,”Jaitley said.
Pointing out that this failed obsolete approach has to be rejected, the Union Finance Minister said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have to be at the centre point in our strategy.
He added that the people of Jammu and Kashmir deserve a special relationship with India, they deserve opportunities, peace and security of life and freedom from terror.
“A state free from terror itself will employ much lesser security presence,”Jaitley said.
Maintaining that terror supported from across the border (Pakistan) cannot be fought either with velvet gloves or with policy of appeasement, he took National Conference and People’s Democratic Party to task , albeit without naming them, saying the two regional parties have played a disappointing role.
“Of late, they are more strident in advocating secession of the State if firm measures are taken. The soft measures have not worked. The current leadership of the opposition parties has hardly any roadmap except to tread on the path to disaster,”Jaitley said.
Jaitley declared that this challenge can be obviously resolved with a fresh approach which is uncompromising on terror, uncompromising in its determination to enforce the rule of law and committed to total integration.
“A strong Government and a leader with clarity alone is capable of resolving the Kashmir issue. This will necessarily require reversal of historical blunders of past. The issue of Jammu and Kashmir and terror continues to remain the biggest challenge before India. It relates to our sovereignty, integrity and security,”Jaitley said.
He said Article 370 was disastrously thought out as a constitutional connect between rest of the country and State of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Article 35-A was surreptitiously introduced in 1954. It catered to a separatist psyche and legitimized discrimination,” he added.
Blaming the Congress party for creation of Kashmir problem, the Finance Minister observed that when Pakistan did not reconcile to Kashmir being part of India, the Congress party wished the issue away.
“It was historical blunder by the Congress on account of which we lost one-third of our territory. Instead of working for total integration the Congress wanted a loose and liberal constitutional connect. The NC-Congress relationship was a paradox. From total trust in Sheikh Abdullah to his arrest in 1953 , from his reinstallation in 1976 to the dismissal of Farooq Abdullah Government in 1984 and installing a Government headed by Ghulam Mohammad Shah were amongst the many pitfalls,” he said.