Cong Asks If Farooq Will Attend Parliament?

Dr Farooq Abdullah – File Pic

NEW DELHI – The Congress on Friday attacked the Modi government over the detention of mainstream political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, and asked whether sitting Lok Sabha member from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah will be allowed to attend Parliament from Monday.

The opposition party also alleged that the Centre had left “no stone unturned in internationalising Kashmir” and hit out at the government for allowing European Union (EU) lawmakers to visit the Valley but not Indian leaders.

Former chief minister and senior National Conference (NC) leader Farooq Abdullah was detained under the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA).

“Kashmir has been in a lockdown situation for the last 103 days. The prime minister (Narendra Modi) is going around the world saying ‘all is well’,” Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said at a press conference.

He said the government must give reasons as to why it has kept leaders of established political parties under detention.

When Farooq Abdullah “sings ‘Ram Bhajan’ or says ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai'”, he does not think what the response of separatist forces will be, Khera said.

“Is it not that Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti take their oaths under the Constitution of India. Omar Abdullah has held several positions in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Cabinet, you have been in a government with Mehbooba Mufti, and today you have put them in the same category as separatists,” the Congress leader said.

During the Parliament session from November 18 to December 13, the Congress will raise its voice for all those mainstream leaders who are under detention in Jammu and Kashmir, Khera said.

The Congress spokesperson hit out at the Modi government for granting a delegation of EU MPs access to Kashmir when parliamentarians of the country were not allowed.

A delegation of 23 EU MPs made a two-day visit to Kashmir last month aimed at a first-hand assessment of the ground situation in the Valley after the revocation of the state’s special status.

“How come foreign countries can gather courage to ask questions on our internal issues,” Khera said.

“We would like to make it clear… Kashmir was, is and will always be an integral part of India,” he said.

Not just former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and ex-home minister Vallabhbhai Patel, but also all those mainstream leaders in detention in J-K today have made an important contribution in Kashmir being an integral part of India, Khera said.

“Operation successful and the patient is dead, is that your solution,” he said.

Most of the top level and second rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders, including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been either detained or placed under house arrest.

The government has detained Farooq Abdullah under the PSA, a law enacted by his father and NC founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1978 when he was the chief minister.


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