Cautioning the government against any attempt made under international pressure to enforce the pre-1953 arrangement in Jammu and Kashmir, which gave the state a separate Constitution and flag, senior BJP leader L.K. Advani on Thursday warned that this would lead to a forceful agitation across India.
Speaking at a party rally to mark its founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee’s “martyrdom”, the BJP leader said, “I
have given repeated warnings to the Indian government whenever we have felt that under international pressure the government is thinking of an agreement on Kashmir. Sometimes we get information that informally an agreement has been reached.” Mr Advani warned that BJP would take to the streets more vociferously than the erstwhile Bhartiya Jan Sangh did in 1953, when late Mookerjee died under mysterious circumstances in a Kashmir jail while opposing the special provisions for the border state.
The BJP leader’s comments have come at a time when the foreign secretary-level talks are being held in Islamabad between India and Pakistan. Kashmir is likely to figure in the dialogue on Friday.
“I want to tell the government that Bhartiya Jan Sangh had engaged in such a forceful agitation then.
Mookerjee had challenged the government and sacrificed his life in the process,” Mr Advani said.
Criticising India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for gifting the nation the Kashmir problem, the senior BJP leader insisted that it has not been solved since Independence due to him only.
“Of the 562 princely states at the time of independence, Nehru told Sardar Patel (then home minister) that he will take care of one of these, Kashmir. While all the 561 states were integrated, there is only one, which was not fully integrated… Where some problem or the other keeps occurring,” Mr Advani said. The BJP leader maintained that some people jokingly say that the biggest gift Nehru gave to the country was the problem of Kashmir. He further said that though Nehru had then claimed that Article 370 — conferring special status to J&K — was a temporary provision, it was still in existence. Asian Age