Ghulam Nabi Azad Questions PM Modi's 'Silence' On Kashmir Issue

Azad initiated a debate in the Rajya Sabha over Kashmir that came after over a month of unrest which has left more than 55 people dead and thousands injured in the valley. "Many of us have lost their near and dear ones due to this militancy in Kashmir", he added. But integral part should not be on paper only.

Azad said violence has increased in the valley ever since BJP has come to power in alliance with PDP, remarks which triggered a brief uproar as ruling party members reacted sharply.

Earlier in the day, Leader of Opposition and Congress leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad had hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for failing to make any statement in the Parliament on the ongoing Kashmir unrest. "So much blood has been spilled, have you achieved anything?" the Prime Minister asked. It is not wrong to show sympathy if humanity is hurt anywhere in the world. "There is a need to apply balm to the wounds of Kashmiri people", she said. "You must have felt the heat on your head, if not the heart".

He also urged the central government to extend full support to the Jammu and Kashmir government in dealing with the situation in the state.

"We have had these political gimmicks of probes for the past so many decades and we can't be fooled by these hollow slogans". This is not the occasion to discuss those issues. Er Rasheed also appealed Indian Parliamentarians to clear their confusions about the goal of their visit to Kashmir. Also, the "dreaded midnight knocks" should be stopped as well as the dominating presence of the army in civilian areas should be reduced and security forces withdrawn, he said.

MPs from other parties joined the chorus and wondered why the government was not taking a political initiative. "We are making efforts to ensure normalcy is restored in the Valley", he said. "People in Kashmir are following separatist dictates", he said.

He said the Union Government wanted to create employment opportunities for the youth of Kashmir. The condition in Jammu and Kashmir is very bad.

The ailing Hurriyat patriarch said that Indians, especially its conscious, honest and visionary of citizens, very well know that despite using "iron hand to crush" Kashmiris since 1947, "they have miserably failed to contain our freedom sentiment". People like him inspire us to work for the nation, he added.

"There is murder of humanity and democracy in Kashmir".

The issue of unrest in Kashmir has rocked the Parliament throughout the Monsoon Session which is underway.

Pointing out that there is a difference between communalism and separatism, Azad said the militants do not have any religion, be they from Punjab or Kashmir. "They don't trust us".

Vanessa Coleman

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