What’s happening in Kashmir is ‘Gujarat’: Azad
New Delhi: Congress on Thursday charged the Modi government with pushing Jammu and Kashmir back to the 1990s, when militancy was at its peak, due to its wrong policies and said what was happening in the state was the “Gujarat model” from which the people needed to be saved.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the BJP, which is in power both at the Centre and in the state, should take the blame for the “excessive” use of force in Kashmir in the wake of protests over Hizbul militant Burhan Wani’s killing in an encounter.
He also accused Pakistan of fomenting trouble in Kashmir and being responsible for its “destruction” ever since the partition.
“The way BJP has put pressure on regional political parties and blackmailed them to form a government with it….
otherwise they will not get money from the Centre.
“Today this BJP government has brought the situation in Kashmir, which had normalised, back to the 1990s because of its wrong policies,” he said, adding the previous Congress dispensations had treated it as a serious issue and restored normalcy.
“What is happening in Jammu and Kashmir is the Gujarat model. May God save us from such models,” he said.
Accusing Pakistan of creating disturbances in the state, he asked it to stop interfering in what was happening in the Valley. “I would like to tell Pakistan not to interfere in these incidents. Pakistan is responsible for this destruction happening in Kashmir since 1947 till today. Pakistan is also responsible for bringing hatred in the community.”
Blaming the Centre and state government for the current situation in the Valley, where hundreds have been injured in clashes with security forces, Azad said if the Modi government wanted to solve the Kashmir issue, it needed to talk to Pakistan.
Azad, a former J&K chief minister, said during the first Cabinet meeting of BJP-PDP government, it was discussed that there has been “excessive use of force”.
“If both are saying that there has been excessive use of force, then it is a matter of serious concern. Someone in the BJP government should own up.
“They give us a lot of sermons. The BJP, both at the Centre and state government, should be answerable for this use of excessive force on civilians. Central government should also take blame for this,” he said.
Describing the situation there as “very worrisome”, Azad said the security forces should have distinguished between militants and common people.
“If they use the same force and fire at civilians that includes the old, children, youth and women, the same way as they do to militants, I think it is wrong,” he said, adding 1,600 people have been injured, including 600-700 with pellet injuries which is “very serious”.
Azad also urged the Centre to airlift the injured to Delhi for treatment to avoid more fatalities.
Azad asked leaders of all political parties, both at the national and state level, as well as religious leaders to appeal for maintaining peace and harmony in Kashmir.
“We should all try to bring normalcy and peace to Kashmir, it is good for Kashmir as well as for the unity and integrity of the country,” he said, asking the media to exercise restraint to help restore peace and not ignite the situation.