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HomeNewsPoK part of India regardless of Hindu-Muslim question: Amit Shah

PoK part of India regardless of Hindu-Muslim question: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said at the India Today Conclave that it was the aspiration of every Indian, including every Kashmiri, to reclaim PoK

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah reiterated that Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) was an integral part of India, emphasizing that both Muslims and Hindus residing there were Indians. He stated that the BJP and the whole parliament shared the belief that PoK was an integral part of India and that the land, which had been illegally occupied by Pakistan, rightfully belonged to India. Shah said that it was the aspiration of every Indian, including every Kashmiri, to reclaim PoK.

Shah also addressed the misinterpretation of Article 370 in the Kashmir valley, which has been nullified following its abrogation. He highlighted that the fears of threats to the culture, language, and existence of Kashmiriyat since the abrogation of Article 370 have not materialised even after five years. Shah pointed out that Kashmiris now enjoyed freedom, with an increased emphasis on the Kashmiri language and food culture, and a rise in tourist visits to the region.

Furthermore, Shah debunked various myths surrounding Article 370, including the notion that a large influx of people into Kashmir would jeopardise the essence of Kashmiriyat. He said such myths had been proven false in the present scenario.

“Under the shadows of Article 370, a separatist ideology was shaped and the youths of Jammu and Kashmir were dragged into terrorism. Pakistan misused this situation and in the last 4 decades, more than 40,000 youths lost their lives,” Shah said. 

“But today Jammu and Kashmir is heading on the path of progress. Terrorism is seeing its fag end, stone-pelting has completely stopped. An anti-corruption bureau has been formed to stop corruption and people’s money is reaching the people,” the union minister said.

Shah emphasised that the primary objective of the government is not to bolster the BJP’s presence in Jammu and Kashmir but rather to emancipate the region from the grip of dynastic politics. He said that the Indian National Congress, National Conference and People’s Democratic Party, which were all dynastic parties, had consistently impeded the growth of democracy at the grassroots level. Before Prime Minister Modi’s tenure, panchayat elections were not conducted in Jammu and Kashmir, he said. However, under his leadership, Shah added, more than 30,000 representatives were now actively participating in the democratic process.

At the 21st edition of the India Today Conclave, just a day before the announcement of the summer’s general election schedule, the country’s home minister tackled every challenging question head-on with ease. Whether it was about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Supreme Court‘s scrutiny of electoral bonds or the dynamics of political alliances, Shah clarified the BJP’s stance with a mix of humour and candour.

Right from the beginning, Shah set the tone by addressing queries about the BJP’s slogan ‘400 paar‘. He explained that it was not a sign of insecurity due to anti-incumbency, but rather a reflection of the party’s track record of the past 10 years and a vision for the next 25 years to build a ‘mahan Bharat’.

When it came to alliances, Shah stressed that they are based on chemistry, not just numbers. He highlighted that alliances can sometimes result in unexpected outcomes, with one plus one not always equaling two. The decision to ally with RLD in Uttar Pradesh was strategic while parting ways with JJP in Haryana was due to disagreements over seat-sharing.

In addition to his unparalleled expertise in electoral strategy, the home minister provided a comprehensive explanation of the government’s stance on a range of issues. These topics included the Uniform Civil Code, the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor, the caste census, ‘One Nation One Election’, the alleged misuse of central investigating agencies by the BJP, and the unrest in Manipur.

Even when faced with the ongoing controversy surrounding electoral bonds, Shah remained resolute, asserting that the BJP only received Rs 6,000 crore out of the total Rs 20,000 crore in bonds. While he acknowledged the court’s decision, he expressed concerns that abolishing the bonds could lead to the resurgence of illicit funds in politics.

Unperturbed, Shah insisted that his party was committed to an agenda of development rather than division. This agenda is rooted in safeguarding the nation’s security, preserving its self-respect, and upholding the importance of its culture. He paid tribute to his boss and political mentor, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stating that his leadership has brought an end to casteism, nepotism, appeasement, and corruption in Indian politics. Regarding his political journey, Shah declared, “I was born in the BJP and I will also meet my political end in the BJP.”

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