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Will Handle Pakistan’s Response; Political Detentions in Kashmir Not New: Ram Madhav Clears BJP Stand on Article 370

The BJP national general secretary sought to dismiss the reactions of the international community to the government’s move, saying it was an internal matter.

Marya Shakil | CNN-News18maryashakil

Updated:August 8, 2019, 6:55 PM IST
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Will Handle Pakistan’s Response; Political Detentions in Kashmir Not New: Ram Madhav Clears BJP Stand on Article 370
File photo of senior BJP leader Ram Madhav.

New Delhi: BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav on Thursday said India would handle Pakistan’s reaction to the repeal of Article 370 in the way it deems fit after the neighbour suspended bilateral trade and expelled high commissioner Ajay Bisaria.

Speaking to CNN-News18, Madhav said the country, including people of Kashmir, had welcomed the move to strike down the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state.

Quizzed about the implications of the move on Kartarpur Corridor, Madhav said the project had seen multiple deliberations and he hoped Pakistan would not go back on the progress that had been made. The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.

The BJP leader also sought to dismiss the reactions of the international community to the government’s move. “We took our own time to take this decision... we waited because we wanted to create an amicable atmosphere in the country,” he said.

Madhav added, “We need to tell the international community that this is an internal matter... Article 370 has been amended before but no one said anything.”

Speaking about the situation in the Valley, which has been in lockdown, he said no untoward incidents had been reported from Jammu and Kashmir.

“Political detentions are no big deal, this has happened before. People of Kashmir have been misinformed... Internet blackout is nothing new... Deployment of forces on streets in Kashmir is nothing new... Earlier, there would be clashes but no such incident has been reported over the last 72 hours,” Madhav said even as media reports said one person died while six others were injured in the Valley amid the lockdown.

The BJP leader blamed Kashmir’s political class for creating panic in the Valley, saying he had assured people that they had nothing to worry about.

Kashmir’s political leaders — Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Sajad Lone — were arrested on Monday after authorities said they were considered a threat to the law-and-order situation in the state.

Madhav also hit out Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad for “mocking” Kashmiris and saying they could be “bought with money”. “Is Ghulam Nabi Azad saying that Jyotiraditya Scindia has been bought? Is he suggesting that we have bought all Congress leaders who spoke in favour of revoking 370? Leaders like Azad are the problem that J&K faces,” he said.

Azad, while slamming pictures and videos of NSA Ajit Doval’s interaction with locals in Kashmir's Shopian district, said: "Anyone can be bought with money".

Madhav added that Kashmir needs a major revamp and revoking Article 370 had allowed central laws to be applied in Kashmir, which would help in development.

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