New Delhi: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Wednesday sparked a controversy with his remark that having a separate constitution for Jammu and Kashmir was probably an “aberration” and that sovereignty “cannot be diluted or ill-defined”. Also Read - Jammu and Kashmir: All Religious Places to Open From August 16 Amid COVID-19, Processions, Gatherings Still Banned
“The thing was that to make a sovereign state in which there was the sovereignty of the people was established in the Constitution, which is applicable to the whole of it. Probably with Jammu and Kashmir, where the Constitution was…in a truncated form…another constitution of J&K continued to exist, which is an aberration,” said Doval speaking at the launch of a book on Vallabhbhai Patel. Also Read - 'New Map an Exercise of Political Absurdity': India Blasts at Pakistan PM Over Provocative Move
Doval said sovereignty “cannot be a diluted and ill-defined”, and added that when the “British left, probably they did not want to leave India as a strong sovereign state.” In this context, he said Patel could see through the plan of the British to sow seeds of disintegration in the country. Also Read - Shocker! Imran Khan Unveils New Map That Shows Kashmir as Part of Pakistan, Trolled on Twitter
Talking about the British rule, he said one of their plans was to let the princely states decide for themselves, hoping that there would be chaos in the country. “He (Patel) has been able to lay the foundation of a nation-state. And in nation-state, there was one law, one Constitution…Sovereignty can never be divided,” Doval said.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) hit back at Doval saying those who believe in accession of the state to the Union of India should also have faith in the instrument of accession.
“Anyone who believes and endorses the accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India should also have faith in the clause 8 of the Instrument of Accession which provides for internal sovereignty of the state,” PDP chief spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir said in a statement.
Mir said such unwarranted remarks of the NSA when Kashmir valley was witnessing a political turmoil, showed his “insensitivity” towards the people of the state.
“The state’s internal sovereignty is a matter of right and has a historical significance, although this sovereignty had been reduced to a hollow shell over these years, it continues to be a matter of our identity, symbolic of our collective struggle against autocratic rule,” Mir said.
The PDP spokesman said it was unfortunate that when a Muslim-dominated state rejected the two-nation theory and went to accede with a Hindu-majority nation with trust, “we are being harassed, pushed to the wall by these assaults on our state’s special status”.
This selective discrimination and assaults on the state’s special status will only “alienate” the people further as the government of India at the time of accession gave an undertaking that the people of Kashmir could frame their own constitution, he said.
“I would like the NSA to know that the Instrument of Accession is a valid legal document and nobody should forget the essence of clause 8 of the Instrument of Accession, which shows in its opening sentence that the instrument did not in any way effect the ‘sovereignty in and over’ the acceding state,” Mir said.
Doval’s remarks on Kashmir come at a time the Supreme Court is hearing pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35-A of the Constitution, which provides special rights and privileges to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
(With PTI inputs)