New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Thursday brushed off allegations that remarks by Congress leaders, on the abrogation of Article 370 were being used by Pakistan, saying that Congress and BJP’s stand is the same that there can’t be talks with Pakistan with ‘a gun pointed to our heads.’
Speaking at an event in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said, “These allegations by the BJP, that Pakistan is benefitting from remarks by Congress leaders on Article 370, is surprising.”
He further said, “Congress and BJP’s stand is the same that we can’t negotiate with a gun pointed to our heads. It’s the position of India. There’s no need of a third party. We’re not talking to Pakistan right now because they’re using terrorists and we can never accept that.” However, he also said that while Pakistan has no right to interfere in India’s internal affairs, the opposition parties have the right to tell the government how the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir should be treated.
On US President Donald Trump repeatedly offering to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, Tharoor said, “We don’t need a mediator. However, we can’t talk to Pakistan if they have guns in one hand and bombs in the other. They should put those down and lock up terrorists.”
In the aftermath of the revocation of Article 370, there have been instances of Pakistan using remarks by Congress leaders in its attempt to internationalise the Kashmir issue. Even Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who was a part of an opposition delegation which was sent back from Srinagar airport in August, had to clarify that while he disagreed with the government on many issues, Kashmir is India’s internal matter.
Earlier this month, Pakistan, while raking up Kashmir at the 42nd United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland, had quoted the former Congress national president along with former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and several others.
The government, in a surprise move on August 5, abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, thus revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir. It also bifurcated J&K into two separate union territories.