People free from shackles of vested interest groups: PM
Restrictions will continue, forces won’t be withdrawn: HM
Parl clears Art 370 Resolution, Reorganization Bill
JAMMU, Aug 6: Union Home Minister Amit Shah today made it clear that Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) including Gilgit-Baltistan as well as Aksai Chin are parts of Jammu and Kashmir and they will even give up their lives for it as he declared that there will be no talks with Hurriyat Conference but with the people of Kashmir to set their any kind of doubts, if they have at all, at the rest.
Asserting that three families were responsible for many ills in Jammu and Kashmir including corruption, Shah said the problem for them now wasn’t Article 370 but the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which has opened some files because of which they were sweating in cold.
Shah was replying to debate on Resolution abrogating Article 370 and J&K Reorganization Bill in the Lok Sabha, which were approved by the House with 351 votes in favour and only 72 against with one abstention (for the Resolution) and 370 in favour and 70 against (for the bill). With Parliament nod, the Bill will now go for President Ram Nath Kovind’s assent, leading to bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir State into two Union Territories-J&K and Ladakh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described passage of bills on Jammu and Kashmir in Parliament as a “momentous occasion” in Parliamentary democracy and said a new dawn awaits the people there as they are now free from the shackles of vested interest groups.
Modi also posted five tweets in Dogri language pertaining to passage of the bills in which he praised Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, Speaker Hari Om Birla and Home Minister Amit Shah. He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir will be proud that the MPs shedding their differences talked about peace, development and happiness and better future of the State.
Repeatedly targeting three families, albeit without naming them saying all members in the House knew them, Shah said they were not worried or concerned about Article 370 but opening of some files by the Anti-Corruption Bureau. “They were sweating in the cold,” he said.
Maintaining that the people of Kashmir Valley “are our own” and not only they but entire country will embrace them, the Home Minister said if they have any doubts they will talk to them but made it clear that there will be no talks with the Hurriyat Conference.
“I assure the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who are not controlled by anyone, that whatever required to remove their doubts will be done,” he said.
Shah said it is not a political move to end special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and bifurcating the State into two Union Territories.
“This is not a political move… Parliament has full powers to make laws for the entire country,” Shah said.
“Kashmir is an integral part of India. I want to make it absolutely clear that every single time we say Jammu and Kashmir, it includes Pakistan occupied Kashmir (including Gilgit-Baltistan) as well as Aksai Chin. Let there be no doubt about it. Entire Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the Union of India,” the Home Minister said.
“Kashmir ki seema mein PoK bhi aata hai…Jaan de denge iske liye! (PoK also falls within Kashmir. We will give up our lives for it),” he declared.
“India will continue to claim Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” he said.
Defending the Government’s action to put restrictions in Kashmir Valley in the last two days, the Home Minister said law and order situation there had not deteriorated and whatever actions were taken were all precautionary.
He reminded the Opposition that from 1989 to 1995, curfew was imposed for months together in Kashmir and there was no food for the people.
“We have imposed restrictions only to ensure that vested interest don’t manage to exploit the situation. It’s a precautionary measure. We won’t come under your (the Opposition’s pressure) and remove forces (from the Valley),” Shah said, adding Kashmir was, is and will always remain heaven.
Shah said over 41,500 people had been killed in Jammu and Kashmir due to militancy since 1989 and blamed the Articles 370 and Article 35A for the problem.
The Home Minister said Pakistan has fuelled separatism and militancy in the Kashmir Valley exploiting Article 370. He said poverty was not responsible for terrorism in Kashmir as claimed by a member saying problem of poverty is also faced by some other States but it was Pakistan which took advantage of Article 370 and misled the youth to take weapons in their hands.
“The poor are always loyal. They don’t take to terror. It was Article 370 because of which the poison of separatism was spread in Kashmir. Pakistan wanted to spread terrorism in the entire country but they succeeded in Jammu and Kashmir only by exploiting Article 370,” Shah said.
He said Dr Manmohan Singh and Inder Kumar Gujral also migrated from West Pakistan and settled in Punjab and went on become Prime Ministers of the country but those, who stayed back in Jammu even don’t have voting rights.
“Isn’t it a human rights violation? Lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits and Sufis were thrown out of Kashmir. Wasn’t that human rights violation”?, he asked.
He pointed out that 2,77,000 crore rupees were given to Jammu and Kashmir from 2004 to 2019 but still there was poverty in the State and attributed this to massive corruption by three families.
Shah said former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah has neither been detained nor arrested and he is at his home of his own free will.
“He is well… if he does not want to come out of his house, he cannot be brought out at gunpoint,” the Minister said after Congress MP Shashi Tharoor expressed concern over Dr Abdullah’s absence during the debate in Lok Sabha as he is member from Srinagar Lok Sabha seat.
Earlier, NCP’s Supriya Sule raised the issue of Abdullah, who sits next to her, being absent in the House, saying the debate will be considered incomplete without his participation.
To this, the Home Minister retorted: “He (Abdullah) is neither under detention nor under arrest. He is at his home of his own free will”.
When Sule said that he is not well, Shah quipped “doctors can treat him, I can’t do it”.
Shah said India had full rights to take any decision on Jammu and Kashmir as Pakistan had violated the UN charter in 1965 through aggression, ending the issue of referendum.
Shah said under the United Nations charter, armed forces of a nation would not violate the territorial integrity of other country.
“The day in 1965 Pakistan violated this provision, the charter was violated. The question of a referendum ended with the Pakistani aggression. Hence, Government of India has full rights to take any decision regarding its territorial integrity. This was even agreed to by the United Nations,” he said and asked the opposition who took the Kashmir matter to the UN and who brought in a unilateral ceasefire in 1948.
“It was (former Prime Minister) Jawaharlal Nehru who took Kashmir issue to the UN. Had our forces been given a free hand to deal with the situation, PoK would have been a part of India today”, he said.
Shah also slammed Congress leader Adhir Rajan Chowdhury who stoked a controversy by seeking to know from the government whether Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter or a bilateral issue, saying the UN was monitoring the situation there since 1948.
Shah challenged the opposition to clarify their stand on the floor of the House, whether they support UN meditation in Kashmir. “The opposition in a way has questioned the competence of Parliament by raising this point”.
Shah asked the members, “How can patriots of India who can sacrifice their lives for the country not get perturbed by such a question?”
Shah also said the Modi government will have no hesitation in restoring statehood to Jammu and Kashmir when normalcy returns.
He said Article 370 was creating doubts over Jammu and Kashmir’s relations with India.
“This is not a historical blunder but we are rectifying the historical blunder,” he said dismissing the opposition charges that the Government was committing a mistake by abrogating Article 370.
He also strongly refuted the suggestion that abrogation of provisions of Article 370 was “communal agenda” and said it was discriminatory and against the minorities, women, welfare of the people, Dalits and some other sections.
Shah said Jammu and Kashmir was deprived of all the rights which were being enjoyed by citizens of other parts of the country.
Barring Jammu and Kashmir, the delimitation exercise had been conducted across the country, he said. The bill provides for carrying out delimitation of Assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir UT.
With the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370, “we will be able to bring together the people of Valley,” Shah said.
Later, the Lok Sabha approved a resolution abrogating special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and a bill for splitting the State into two Union Territories.
The resolution was passed by Lok Sabha with 351 members voting in its support and 72 against it, while one member abstained.
The bill to create two UTs — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — was passed in the House by 370 votes in favour and 70 against.
The resolution and the bill were approved by Rajya Sabha on Monday.
The Government yesterday revoked Article 370 to take away Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, and proposed bifurcation of the state into Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, a bold and far-reaching decision that seeks to redraw the map and future of a region at the centre of protracted militancy.
Shah later withdrew the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2019, saying that the clauses incorporated in the legislation will automatically come into effect in the two new Union Territories.
The Bill will also be withdrawn from Rajya Sabha.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hailed the passage of bills on Jammu and Kashmir in Parliament as a “momentous occasion” in Parliamentary democracy and said a new dawn awaits the people there as they are now free from the “shackles” of vested interest groups.
Modi said the passage of key bills pertaining to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh is a fitting tribute to Sardar Patel, who worked for India’s unity, to B R Ambedkar, whose views are well known, and Dr S P Mookerjee, who devoted his life for India’s unity and integrity.
“Together we are, together we shall rise and together we will fulfill the dreams of 130 crore Indians! A momentous occasion in our Parliamentary democracy, where landmark bills pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir have been passed with overwhelming support!” Modi said in a series of tweets soon after the Lok Sabha passed the bills.
“For years, vested interest groups who believed in emotional blackmail, never cared for people’s empowerment. J&K is now free from their shackles. A new dawn, better tomorrow awaits!” the Prime Minister said.
“Saluting sisters and brothers of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh for their courage and resilience,” he said, adding that the bills will ensure integration and empowerment of these regions.
These steps will bring the youth into the mainstream and give them innumerable opportunities to showcase their skills and talents, he said, adding that local infrastructure will significantly improve.
“Special congratulations to the people of Ladakh! It is a matter of great joy that their long-standing demand of being declared a Union Territory has been fulfilled. This decision will give impetus to the overall prosperity of the region and ensure better developmental facilities,” the Prime Minister said.
In Parliament, political parties rose to the occasion, overcame ideological differences and took part in a rich debate that increased the pride of India’s Parliamentary democracy, Modi said, congratulating all MPs, various political parties and their leaders.
“People of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh would be proud that MPs overcame differences and discussed the future of these regions as well as ensure peace, progress and prosperity there. The widespread support can be clearly seen in the final numbers, 125:61 in RS and 370:70 in LS,” he said.
Modi also lauded the efforts of Home Minister Amit Shah saying he has been continuously working towards ensuring a better life for the people of the three regions.
“His commitment and diligence is clearly visible in the passage of these bills. I would like to specially congratulate Amit Bhai!” Modi said.
The Prime Minister also hailed Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla for the “excellent manner” in which they conducted proceedings of both Houses. He said they deserve praise from the entire nation.