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Special status to J&K a historical blunder: Jaitley

July 08, 2012 21:00 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday threatened to launch a movement if the UPA government at the Centre accepts the report of its interlocutors pertaining to special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.
      
"We will not sit as silent spectators and once again the nation will see the same movement once launched by (late) Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (the founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh)," senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley told a seminar in Chandigarh.

Mukherjee had launched a movement against the entry permit system that prevailed in J and K earlier under which citizens from other parts of the country had to obtain a permit to gain entry, he said.
     
Mukherjee had also raised his voice against grant of special status to Jammu and Kashmir under article 370, the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha said.
    
"It was due to the wrong ideology of (India's first Prime Minister late Jawaharlal) Nehru that Article 370 was incorporated in JK," he said.
    
Carving out of a special status for Jammu and Kashmir was a "historical blunder", Jaitley said.
   
"The provision was intended to create a separate psyche that we (J&K) are not as much part of India as other states are.
    
"The history will have to sit in judgment that Nehruvian vision on Kashmir proved costly for India," he said at the seminar "Report of Kashmir Interlocutors".

Jaitley alleged the report submitted by the Centre's interlocutors was aimed at further weakening the political and constitutional ties of the state with rest of the country.
     
"The government has run out of ideas on how to deal with the situation. It faces a policy paralysis (on Kashmir) like it faces on the economic front."
        
Slamming the recommendations of the Interlocutors on special status to the state, Jaitley said "it seems even the Central government is scared about the report."
      
They (the government) had not made the report public when Parliament was in session, he said.
       
Jaitley claimed the special status provision had resulted in emergence of separatism and had isolated the state inhibiting its progress.
       
"This Article (370) was supposed to be a temporary arrangement, but it has been further strengthened.
      
"JK's relations with India have been further weakened by the report of Kashmir interlocutors who have favoured preserving the special status and reviewing all Central laws applicable to the state," the BJP leader said.
    
The report would breed separatism, he said.
 
Jaitley said the talk of economic growth and generating employment for the youth in the state would have no meaning as the special status provision "acts as a deterrent and nobody is willing to invest or set up projects in JK".
     
"Article 370 is a major hurdle in economic development and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

"The most dangerous thing in the report is that they (interlocutors) have diluted India's stand on PoK by changing the nomenclature to Pakistan-administered Kashmir," Jaitley said.
       
"It is legitimising Pakistan's claim on the occupied territory," he said.
      
There were a number of similarities between the recommendations made by the interlocutors and those suggested by former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, Jaitley said.
        
"Musharraf talked about things like joint administration and control and soft borders. This report also touches on opening up the LoC for trade and tourism," he said.
      
The interlocutors' report would take the state back to its 1953 position and this was unacceptable, Jaitley said.
       
"It's like turning the clock back," he said.

Jaitley said the Kashmir issue might have not existed had veteran freedom fighter and then Home Minister Sardar Patel not been kept out from the scene.

He said it was unfortunate that the veteran leader was not given the charge to deal with J and K.

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