The Bold Voice of J&K

Jammu and Kashmir government working to rein in pro-Pakistan elements: BJP

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Hyderabad: The PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir is working to ensure that pro-Pakistan elements in the state are marginalised, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav said even as he maintained that the party “will leave the government” there if it cannot protect India’s interests.
“The government in J-K is taking all the measures to ensure that pro-Pakistan elements are completely arrested, marginalised.
“So, this impression is not based on facts that the government there is soft on pro-Pakistan elements. Masarat Alam is in jail. All the important separatist leaders are under house arrest,” he said.
He was responding to a question from the audience after delivering a talk on ‘Challenges to National Security: Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal, Pakistan to China’ organised here by the J-K Study Centre and Pragna Bharat. Madhav also said that BJP would rather leave the state government if it cannot safeguard the interests of India.
“If any such situation arises, we will be the first to walk out of this government. If we cannot safeguard India’s interests, we will leave the government, (but) not leave India’s interests,” he said.
Asked why J-K cannot be split into two for bringing stability and economic development to the people there, he said the state government is striving to bridge the gap between Jammu region and Kashmir Valley. He added that there are no plans to divide the state.
“You might have asked it because the separation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh is still fresh. We cannot go on dividing the state like that. J-K is one state, it will develop, it will prosper as one state and our government is making special efforts.
“In fact, (J-K Chief Minister) Mufti Mohammed Sayeed has gone on record repeatedly saying that his biggest challenge is not some imaginary kind of bridging of gap between the rest of India and J-K.
“The real challenge is to bridge the gap between Jammu (region) and Kashmir (Valley). That is the real challenge for our government.
“We will work towards bringing the two regions closer to each other. The air distance is 25 minutes from Jammu to Srinagar. By road, the distance is six hours, but the emotional gap is 60 years. We are determined to bridge this gap first.
“We are committed to making Jammu and Kashmir one united and prosperous state like Telangana or any other state, say Gujarat or Maharashtra. No plans to divide,” said Madhav.
Replying to another query, he said that the PDP-BJP government would abide by whatever the Parliament decides as regards Article 370.
“Art. 370 is the responsibility of the Government of India. We have said that whatever the Parliament decides, whatever is in the Constitution, we will follow that,” Madhav said.
J-K government is holding talks with Kashmiri Pandits and they are happy with the former’s decision to engage with them, he said.
Referring to Pakistan, Madhav said the neighbouring country is trying to create instability in the state as it is unhappy that the PDP-BJP alliance had brought a stable government to the helm in J-K.
“A photo was posted on a social networking site (showing) a Pakistan flag hoisted on Shankaracharya Hill. When police investigated, it was found to be a doctored photo. Be careful. Don’t get carried away by propaganda.
“Pakistan is very unhappy with the way a stable government has been formed in J-K. It is trying its best to create unrest in the state. The Pakistani flags and demonstrations that you see now and then are attempts to create instability in the state. The government is making efforts to manage that,” said Madhav.
He added that one should not “romanticise those forces”.
“They do not enjoy the popular support there. But they are there… They have some support. But the majority of the people are with Indian democracy,” he said.
Hailing the Assembly elections earlier this year in J-K, Madhav said that people in Kashmir Valley had turned out to vote despite calls for a boycott of the polls.
“You cannot expect them to prove their patriotism every day,” he said.
On the issue of infiltration from across the border with Pakistan, he said “it is at an all-time low”.
“Border management is going on very strongly today. For the first time (as) Arun Shourie says, for one tooth, the entire jaw, that formula is being followed.
“We are effectively managing the borders and trying to prevent illegal infiltration,” he said.

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