Kashmir’s woes: ‘Blame Nehru’s erroneous vision’

via http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-kashmirs-woes-bjp-jaitley-blame-nehru-erroneous-vision/20101223.htm published on December 23, 2010

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday said the ‘erroneous’ vision of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the weak policies of successive Congress governments at the Centre were responsible for the problems in Jammu and Kashmir and suggested withdrawal of the special status to the state.

“Jammu and Kashmir is irrevocably an integral part of India and its merger with India is irrevocable,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told media persons after a meeting of BJP office bearers here to do a “detailed analysis” of the situation in the troubled state.

“The first key challenge is that it is part of the unfinished agenda of Pakistan since independence,” Jaitley said.

Talking about the resolution passed at the meeting, the BJP leader said it expresses the party’s dissatisfaction with the Centre’s policy towards the border state.

“The problems in Jammu and Kashmir even 63 years after independence are due to the approach and attitude of successive Congress governments at the Centre,” Jaitley said.

The Rajya Sabha MP said these “weak policies” had made separatists think their hope was a “realisable reality”.

The party said a working group under C Rangarajan earlier had not achieved much.

“Suddenly a new idea of interlocutors was born but they decided to hold dialogue through the media…. The government seems to have run out of ideas,” Jaitley said.

The party also demanded that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act should not be diluted. It also states that the common people should not be harassed.

The BJP resolution states that the “erroneous” vision of Nehru on Kashmir and granting special status to the state under Article 370 as the reasons for the current problems there.

“Article 370 means the Centre has very few powers,” Jaitley said, adding that it weakens Jammu and Kashmir’s links with the Centre.

“It has prevented investment in the state and is a psychological barrier,” he said, adding that the resolution demands scrapping of Article 370.

The BJP has usually downplayed its stand on Article 370 due to compulsions of coalition politics, as several NDA partners do not see eye-to-eye with the right-wing party on the issue.

Attacking Pakistan for the problems in Kashmir, Jaitley said that when it could not match India in conventional military strength, it resorted to terrorism and a proxy war.

“After 9/11, the global appetite for accepting terror came to an end,” the senior leader said.

The resolution states that resorting to violence in the Valley is a strategy of the separatists and should be dealt with severely, he said.

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