“Kashmir India’s Internal Issue, Pak Instigating Violence”: Rahul Gandhi

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New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi, in tweets today, set the record straight after being named in what the Congress called an alleged petition of the Pakistani government to the UN on Jammu and Kashmir and asserted that while he disagreed with the government on many issues, he wanted to make it “absolutely clear” that Kashmir is India’s internal issue and violence in Jammu and Kashmir is instigated by Pakistan.

The tweets are significant after the Congress leader’s criticism of the government’s handling of Jammu and Kashmir after he was stopped from visiting Srinagar and turned away from the airport on Saturday. The Congress also released a statement referring to “reports citing an alleged petition moved by Pakistani Government to UN on Jammu & Kashmir”, in which Rahul Gandhi had been “mischievously dragged to justify the pack of lies and deliberate misinformation being spread by Pakistan”.

“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,” tweeted Rahul Gandhi.

“There is violence in Jammu and 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 added.

Within moments, came an endorsement from Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who is facing criticism within the party for apparently praising the government. “Spot on, Chief! This is what @INCIndia has insisted all along: J&K is an integral part of India; we opposed the manner in which Art.370 was abrogated because the way it was done assaulted our Constitution& democratic values. No reason for Pak to draw any comfort from our stand,” Mr Tharoor tweeted.

On Saturday, after Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders were sent back from the Srinagar airport, he had said it was “clear that things are not normal in Jammu and Kashmir”. The Congress had tweeted: “If the situation in Jammu & Kashmir is “normal” as the government claims, why has the delegation of Opposition leaders led by Shri @RahulGandhi been sent back from Srinagar airport? What is the Modi government trying to hide?” Governor Satya Pal Malik had warned the Congress and Rahul Gandhi then that the statements would be used by Pakistan.

The visit as well as the Congress comments have apparently found mention in Pakistan’s statement to the UN on Jammu and Kashmir.

Opposition leaders had said they wanted to see the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been under a security lockdown since August 4 to head off any trouble over the government’s decision to end its special status and split it into two Union Territories. Several political leaders, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have been under arrest for 25 days. There have been reports of protests in Kashmir.

The Congress has been seen to speak in different voices on the Kashmir decision. While in parliament, senior party leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad criticised the move, several young leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia and Milind Deora had come out in its support. The party subsequently nuanced its stand, with its interim president Sonia Gandhi asserting that the party was opposed to the manner in which the decision was taken and executed.


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