(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday emphasised that Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir was a catalyst for separatism, which in turn promoted terrorism.
While addressing the Rajya Sabha during the discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, Shah said that Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir was a catalyst for separatism.
"Article 370 in J&K gave rise to separatism which in turn promoted terrorism," the Minister said.
He highlighted that there are other states with more Muslim population than Kashmir.
"Then why only J&K was suffering from terrorism? It was because Article 370 led to separatism," Shah said.
His remarks came after the Supreme Court on Monday upheld the abrogation of Article 370 four years ago.
He also said that the Supreme Court's verdict on Jammu and Kashmir marks a significant defeat for opposition parties.
Shah said: "The court's order vindicated the government's stand."
Taking a swipe at the Opposition, including the Congress he said: "Today, the decision (by Supreme Court on Article 370) has also come. Still, they (Congress) say that they don't accept this and that Article 370 was abrogated wrongfully." He said that he cannot explain to them what is the reality. "One wrong decision can be taken but when history and time prove that the decision is wrong, one should come back towards the interest of the nation. I still say, come back otherwise there won't remain even how many are left now (MPs elected to the House).
"If you want to stick to this decision even today, public is watching -- there will be face off in 2024 and Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi will become the Prime Minister for the third time," he said taking a pot shot at the Congress.
He further said that the Supreme Court also accepted that it is not right to challenge the announcements of Governor's rule and President's rule.
"When the temporary provision was made, the question arose that if it is temporary then how will it be removed? So a provision was inserted inside Article 373 that the President can amend Section 370, ban it and can also take it completely out of the Constitution," he pointed out.
The Minister then also said that the Modi government is committed to ensuring justice to displaced Kashmiri people.
He further said that had there not been an untimely ceasefire in Kashmir, the issue of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) might not have arisen and he also asserted that the Home Minister declared that PoK belongs to India, and emphasised that no external force can snatch it away.
The Home Minister asserted that the people of Kashmir reject those who advocate separatism, indicating a growing rejection of such ideologies among the local population. "We have tried to finish the ecosystem of terror funding," Shah said.
Shah also lauded the Prime Minister for transforming the outlook of Kashmiri youth and said: "Prime Minister Modi has replaced stones in the hands of Kashmiri youth with laptops."
Shah also highlighted a shift in the narrative among the people of Kashmir, emphasising that discussions now center around democracy and development rather than entertaining separatist ideologies.
"Those who say Article 370 is 'permanent' are insulting Constitution and Constituent Assembly," Shah said.
The Home Minister also assured that the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, a promise he had previously made, would be fulfilled at an appropriate time.
Earlier in the day, Congress MP Vivek Tankha took demanded for a comprehensive investigation into the 'Kashmiri Pandit genocide'.
Tankha said: "We want a commission of enquiry over the genocide against Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir. We are the only people who are victims. We are the only people in the world who are displaced in their own country. No one settles there, we go only for few times and few days. This is a chance where the country and community implores that it should listen to their problems.
"Upon this demand, the House erupted in laughter and Shah welcomed the request and asked the speaker to allot an extra five minutes to Tankha.
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