Cong govt didn’t act against Kashmiri leaders courting terrorists: Azad

Former J&K K CM Ghulam Nabi Azad said that then PM Manmohan Singh took no action on a report sent by him about Kashmiri leaders maintaining relations with terror outfits.

Srinagar | Updated: 13 December, 2022 2:24 pm IST
Former J&K chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad (file photo)

Senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that the then Congress government at Centre took no action on a report sent by him as the J&K chief minister about links of some Kashmiri political leaders with terror groups.

After serving as member of parliament, Union minister and the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir for decades, Azad announced his exit from the Congress party in August this year. He is currently the chairman of Democratic Azad Party (DAP) and has been holding public meetings across the Union territory.

During an interview on Monday, Azad said that then prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh and home minister Shivraj Patil did not take any action on a report sent by him.

“Since I do not believe in hearsay, I tried to gather all the concrete proofs and then sent a detailed report to the then prime minister and the then home minister of India. But unfortunately, there was no action,” Azad said.

Azad denied allegations that the Manmohan Singh government was soft towards terrorists in the Valley. However, he said some mainstream Kashmiri leaders were acting as “double cross”.

“Such leaders had links with the terror outfits. At the same time, they were befooling New Delhi by projecting themselves as great nationalists and mainstream leaders. I don’t know when such people will meet their fate,” Azad said.

On being asked whether such people are still in the public life of J&K, Azad said, “I will not like to comment on individuals whether they are in the business or not. We had great hope from this regime but nothing has happened even now. Every political party wants to expand its mass base. There may be compulsions of some of them.”

While responding to another question, Azad said India’s relations with Pakistan can’t improve till the Army in Pakistan ‘rules the roost’.

“The prime minister or president in Pakistan has to follow the dictates of the Pakistani Army. This is an open truth. In fact, the Pakistani Army is a big obstacle in improving relations between Pakistan and India,” Azad added.

“Right from Nehru to Vajpayee and even Narendra Modi, took the lead and tried to improve relations with Pakistan. But the result is in front of all of you. The Army of that country does not want peace in the region due to its own vested interests and the public in Pakistan also knows it well. I had been to Siachen Glacier where our troops are living in massive snow and adverse weather conditions. It is a virtual hell for anybody where temperature dips below 40 degrees. Their jawans are also facing this all. Good relations with the neighbours, whether it is Pakistan or China, are good for us as well as those countries,” Azad maintained.

Supporting the remarks of Union home minister Amit Shah that India will talk with its own youth and own people and not Pakistan over the Kashmir issue, Azad said, “Why should we talk to outsiders? They would exploit the situation and speak whatever is in their favour or suits them. We should not play in the hands of outsiders. This is the issue of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and it should be resolved by talking to our own youth and our people. The efforts must be on first to bring our people in the mainstream,” Azad opined.

He criticised the BJP government’s decision of removing special status to Jammu and Kashmir, saying that the decision has not brought any positive change in the lives of people.

“There is no change at all, rather the situation has worsened after abrogation of Article 370 in J&K. There is no control on increasing unemployment, price hike, and government deficit. People are dejected and youth are frustrated. No major development works are observed. All the claims have fallen flat, and the condition has further deteriorated here,” he remarked.

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