Ghulam Nabi Azad: Bring Bill to restore J&K statehood; need to take people into confidence

Azad said any measure that upsets the people residing in the Northeast and border areas, including Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Punjab, should not be taken.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday asked the government to bring a Bill in Rajya Sabha proposing restoration of statehood for Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking during the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address, Azad, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said, “I appeal to you, if Jammu and Kashmir has to progress and if we have to fight our enemies at the borders, we need to take our own people into confidence and give them love.” He said the government should “bring a Bill in the House” to restore statehood, adding that Assembly elections must be held after statehood is restored for Jammu and Kashmir.

Azad said any measure that upsets the people residing in the Northeast and border areas, including Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Punjab, should not be taken.

Referring to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Azad said she taught him that “we cannot fight on multiple fronts with Pakistan and China”. The Congress leader claimed that the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are not happy as outsiders can now buy their land and work there unlike in the past.

Arguing against Jammu and Kashmir being converted into a Union Territory, he also claimed that the law and order situation in Kashmir was 100 times better when it was a state as compared to now, militancy was at its lowest and development works were at their best, irrespective of whichever government was in power in the state.

Azad alleged that the tourism industry in Kashmir was now “finished”, along with education as schools and colleges are closed for almost two years, while it also lags behind in key parameters like health.

Source: The Indian Express

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