March 2019 News

NC, PDP Following Dangerous Agenda In Kashmir: Jaitley

12 March 2019
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today came down heavily on National Conference and People's Democratic Party (PDP) saying they were on 'dangerous agenda of either autonomy or pre-1953 status' and pressure from the Jamat-e-Islami was to the detriment of their anti-separatist policy. He said there were increasing instances of Left wing extremists actively encouraging 'Kashmiri jihadis' in the Valley. In two blogs written on Facebook and uploaded on twitter, Jaitley said the PDP and the National Conference tried to form the Government together with support of the Congress in Jammu and Kashmir but today they are rivals in an election and on the 'dangerous agenda' of either 'autonomy' or 'pre-1953 status' but could join hands with the 'Gathbandhan' of the Opposition parties. 'Jammu and Kashmir was a foremost victim of terror. People of the State are the worst sufferers. Pakistan never reconciled to Jammu and Kashmir being an integral part of India. It waged wars but lost them. It resorted to encouraging cross border insurgency and supporting domestic terrorists. The Congress had no structured plan during 10 years of UPA on how to deal with the problem. 'Prime Minister Narendra Modi inherited this as a legacy issue. He experimented the conventional method of trying to soften the relationship with Pakistan in a hope that wiser sense would prevail, but Pakistan responded with Pathankot, Uri and Pulwama. He encouraged the mainstream political parties of the Valley to be a part of the national coalition in Kashmir but unfortunately the double talk of support from Delhi and the pressure from the Jamat-e-Islami were to the detriment of anti-separatists policy,' Jaitley wrote in an apparent reference towards the PDP and National Conference. Jaitley said by two actions (surgical strikes in 2016 and air raids on Pakistan on February 26, 2019), the Prime Minister has evolved India's internal security doctrine. 'The surgical and air strikes evolved a policy that we must attack terror at the point of its origin. In both cases, we succeeded. Pakistan realised that there was a severe cost involved if the State continued to patronize terror. The world welcomed our pro-active approach. Pakistan was automatically isolated. Its traditional friends were not willing to stand up and defend it,' the Finance Minister wrote. Asserting that security forces and the Government again had information through Intelligence agencies with regard to a huge terrorist camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit at Balakote, Jaitley said the Air Force conducted air strikes and destroyed the camp causing severe losses of the terrorist infrastructure comprising men, material and premises. He said fighting terrorists merely on the strength of Intelligence information involved a big challenge. 'Do we fight the terrorists merely on the strength of Intelligence information, preventing attack and diplomatically isolating Pakistan? In such cases, we will be able to ensure a hundred percent success. The odds are loaded against us on the ground. Even if the terrorists succeed only once a year, they make their point. Our Intelligence and security have to succeed hundred percent. That is a big challenge,' Jaitley remarked. Noting that the terrorist strike of Pulwama, which cost India the life of 44 CRPF jawans, shook the conscience of the whole country, Jaitley said security forces have already liquidated some of the major terrorists involved in Pulwama attack. 'Post the Uri attack, our forces and the Government had Intelligence information with regard to existence of terrorist training camps along the Line of Control (LoC). The Army in September, 2016 conducted surgical strikes with utmost precision. There was no casualty on the Indian side and those camps were destroyed. We had crossed the LoC for the first time since 1971 war,' he noted. 'The JeM terrorist attack at Pulwama has brought back into focus the key issue of national security. India is a land of patriotic people. We have a history of valour and sacrifice. India struggled for Independence but with their heads held high. We still find it difficult to digest our humiliation of 1962. We remember the 1965 and 1971 wars and the 1999 Kargil war with a sense of honour and satisfaction. Indians believe that the country must be secured. The entire nation in one voice has condemned terrorism which cost us the life of two of our former Prime Ministers, besides our security personnel and citizens. 'Conventionally India condemned any form of terrorism and insurgency in one voice. When a misguided section of Muslim community globally took to terrorism in order to voice their issues, Indian Muslims predominantly refused to be a part of that philosophy. Fortunately for us that trend continues till date. Unfortunately, a few misguided modules in India did emerge. They are dangerous but our security forces overcame most of them,' Jaitley wrote. He said there are increasing instances of Left wing extremists actively encouraging the Kashmiri Jehadis in the Kashmir valley. 'The Congress does not oppose the idea of a pro-active approach in destroying terror at its point of origin. It is disturbed with regard to the political fallout of this pro-active approach on the image of Prime Minister Modi. The Congress is one with the Government on condemning Pulwama but is disturbed about Balakote. Thus it repeatedly rubbishes the surgical strikes. It contends that they have either taken place in the past also or alternatively they never took place under Prime Minister Modi. On the air strikes, their conduct is even more dubious. 'While giving lip sympathy to the Indian Air Force for the first two days, they started a multi-pronged attack. They questioned the success of the strikes. They started demanding proof that terrorists had died at Balakote. They even contended that the strike had taken place not against terror but to ensure BJP's victory in the forthcoming elections. This was a self-goal by the Congress in domestic politics. This was also playing into the hands of Pakistan where statements of Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, were played out on television channels in Pakistan. Pakistan Government cited these statements to bolster their own falsehood,' the Finance Minister said.

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