For the first time, BJP minister Arun Jaitley today explained the Centre’s understanding of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s insaniyat framework for a Kashmir resolution, saying it doesn’t mean the country can be broken by terrorists picking up the gun to kill, or by security forces committing atrocities on innocents. He also snubbed the NC and the PDP, saying “the political debate on the constitutional framework of J&K is no longer linked to the aspirations of common people who have gone through tremendous suffering”.
Jaitley was addressing “Vision Kashmir”, an interaction organised by the BJP with various groups including members of Sajad Lone’s People’s Conference, NGOs, religious leaders associated with the BJP-aligned Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind and RSS-sponsored groups.
“… Vajpayeeji had come to Kashmir and said we would look for a resolution to every issue within the ambit of humanity. There are several people who argue about it. Even opposition parties raise this issue regularly saying that Vajpayeeji had talked about humanity, so we need to try to resolve political issues while moving ahead on the path of humanity,” Jaitley said.
“But humanity does not say that we commit terrorism; humanity doesn’t say that we pick up a gun and kill others; humanity doesn’t say that the Army kills an innocent while responding to the killing of anyone among them; humanity doesn’t say that there is an injustice against a common man and he doesn’t get redressal; humanity doesn’t say that you work for breaking the country. Humanity says that India is the largest democracy of the world and everyone has an equal right in this democracy. And if somebody violates these rights, breaks them, there must be an action against him.”
Jaitley gave the example of his response to the recent killing of two schoolboys by the Army in J&K. “From the day Modiji’s government took over, it has been our policy that if there is any small or big incident and if any injustice happens, it should be investigated. I was defence minister and there was an incident… I received a message from Modiji to ascertain the truth. I probed it and within two hours, the first message I put out on Twitter… I condemned that incident and apologised. This has happened for the first time.” He said he asked Army officials to go to the homes of the children killed, and investigate honestly. “And for the first time, the Army completed its investigation in less than a month’s time and found its officials guilty,” he said.
His explanation of Vajpayee’s doctrine is a snub to the PDP’s interpretation in the context of its proposals for self-rule and joint mechanisms between the two sides of Kashmir. It is a snub also to the Hurriyat Conference’s interpretation of the humanity ambit as one for a dialogue beyond the framework of the Constitution.
In fact, Jaitley said the debate on the constitutional framework of J&K is no longer relevant because it is removed from the aspirations of common people. “What should be the constitutional structure here?… If I don’t go into that debate, and provide a simple meaning, it means as to what powers will the Centre and the state have under the Indian Constitution… Sixty-seven years have passed but the suffering of the common man is removed from that debate. The suffering of the common man has nothing to do as to what powers the Centre or the state enjoys. When the flood came recently, who saw those powers at that time?”
Jaitley said the time has passed when a country’s boundaries are rewritten. “… Every inhabitant of this country has to accept that J&K is an integral part of this country. Especially our neighbouring country would also have to understand that whatever means they utilise, they will never be able to get any part of this country,” he said.
“There is another thing that everyone has to accept,” he said. “In such a big country whose strength is increasing every day, whose economy and military power is getting stronger, violence, terrorism and insurgency cannot change anything. There are two reasons for it. People who picked up the gun to get their view accepted have to understand that… India has become stronger to deal with that gun and they won’t be able to be successful in any part of the country. And today no one in the world is either ready to listen or to support those who want to bring change through the gun.”