In the Lok Sabha on Friday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in a clear articulation of Modi government' Kashmir policy, blamed former PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's policies for the rise of separatism in the Valley over the last seven decades. He said, if Sardar Patel had his way, Kashmir problem would have been solved long ago.
Unlike Home Ministers in the past, who used to obfuscate on the Kashmir issue and avoid controversial remarks, Amit Shah clearly said in Parliament that Article 370 was not 'permanent' and it was a 'temporary' provision. 'Even Sheikh Abdullah had concurred with the temporary nature of this provision', he added.
Shah said, till last year, any separatist leader in the Valley, who gave anti-India statements, were provided security. The government has now withdrawn security from all separatist leaders who speak out against India, he added.
For the first time, the Home Minister of India has unambiguously said in Parliament that Article 370 is not sacrosanct. This has given rise to speculations about fresh delimitation in Jammu & Kashmir that had been put on hold by the Assembly, and the Centre's stand on Article 35A issue, which is presently before the Supreme Court.
Clearly Amit Shah's stance on Kashmir will force the separatist leaders to think afresh. This is also a timely warning to those who give protection and support to terrorists in the Valley.
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