Srinagar: Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and senior Congress leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday said that people of all three regions of the state-Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are united over the assault on Article 35-A.
Addressing a press conference in Jammu, Azad who was accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Chief and other senior leaders said, “Not only Kashmiris, but the people from other two regions including Jammu and Ladakh are in favour of Article 35-A,” he said.
He added in case Article 35-A is abrogated, there will be more serious repercussions in Jammu and Ladakh rather than Kashmir as people from other places would buy the land in a jiffy there.
“The law came into existence after Maharaja apprehended that people from other places would come and settle in the three regions,” he added.
About banning Jamaat-e-Islami and arrest of its leaders and cadre, Azad said if there is proof lying with the government then it has to take action against anyone.
The senior congress leader said the party stand with the Armed forces and any step taken in dealing with the militancy by the forces will be appreciated by the party.
He said militancy has caused huge damage to the State especially Kashmir. “Kashmir has suffered in every aspect including education, tourism and others. We want an end to the militancy in the State so that people could heave a sigh of relief,” he said.
Azad added the prevailing situation at border has caused huge damage to the dwellers there. “We met with the people of Rajouri and Poonch who apprised us that they have suffered a lot from past one week. They said that firing is going on from past one week at various places including Mendhar, Balakote, Krishna Ghati and others while many have migrated from their areas. A delegation of Congress party will visit the areas tomorrow and will express solidarity with them besides ensuring assistance to them.”
About return of Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, Azad said the party welcomes his return.
He added the foreign minister and Home minister have informed the nation that the attack carried out by the Armed forces was not against Pakistan and its people but was on the camp of militants. “It should remain confined to militancy and should not lead to war,” he said.
Azad further said when the people of country were mourning the death of CRPF men who were killed in Lethpora attack, the ruling party was busy in their party activities. “I want to appeal them not to politicize these issues. I want to tell them not to divide people and also forces,” he said.
Asked about atmosphere in State for elections, Azad said, the Election Commission is visiting the Valley on March 4 and will assess the situation itself. “Any decision by the EC will be appreciated,” he said.
(With inputs from KNS)