Hyderabad: Senior Congress leader and former Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Saturday that freedom should be given back to the people of Kashmir.
“I think we are keeping many, many more troops in Kashmir than I would ever accept as necessary. I think it is wrong. We should thin out our troops deployment in Kashmir. More than that, I think we should give back freedom to the people of the Kashmir Valley,” Chidambaram who also served as India’s finance minister said.
He was replying to a question whether it was true that the country spends one per cent GDP to keep 950,000 troops in Kashmir, he said there were more troops than necessary.
Chidambaram was speaking on the Union Budget at a meeting organised by the party here.
Slamming the Centre for invoking the Public Safety Act against former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah to keep them in detention for up to a further two years, he said there cannot be a greater outrage, a greater assault on liberty than what the Modi government has done.
“I think all of us should collectively pray for that the freedom of the people of Kashmir, the 75 lakh people of Kashmir valley, is restored,” he added.
Hitting out at the government, the former Finance Minister said that BJP-led NDA government has proved to be incompetent and helpless in managing the economy.
He said that the NDA government has not defined whether the USD 5 trillion dollars economy it aims to achieve is real GDP or nominal.
“The real GDP would not touch the figure at the current growth level by 2024 or 2025,” he added.