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'Pak settlers can't come to J-K'

'Pak settlers can't come to J-K'

Author: ENS & Agencies
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: December 10, 2001

Chennai, December 9: The Union Government will not allow the controversial Jammu and Kashmir Resettlement Act, permitting people who migrated from Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan in 1947 to return to the state, to be implemented, Minister of State I.D. Swamy said here today.

Addressing a seminar on J-K - An Integral Part of India - organised by Vigil-CIFJKINDIA here, he said that the Centre had several options on this and would choose the best possible one. One of them would be of course, to ask the state to repeal the Act. The Supreme Court, with whom the Act had been lying for the last two decades, recently returned it to the state without offering any opinion.

The Bill, which had been opposed by the then state governor, was referred to the SC. But after the court returned it without any opinion, it was passed again by the Assembly, forcing the Governor to sign the Bill into law.

Swamy also refused to detail the post-Taliban strategy India would follow in the state, but said that the country was adequately equipped to handle terrorists from across the border if they shifted base from Afghanistan to Pak-occupied Kashmir.

''The government is alive and prepared to face any situation,'' he said. ''The Centre might resort to more stringent measures, if the need arose, to curb the violence in Kashmir.''

As it was impossible to launch a conventional or nuclear war against India, Pakistan had been waging a proxy war killing thousands of civilians and police, he charged, but added it would eventually bite the dust. The Centre would not allow precious human lives to be lost in the name of protection of human rights.

Some restrictions were needed and that was the reason why POTO had been introduced, he noted. He expressed confidence that POTO would be passed in Parliament.

Swamy said the Congress was opposing the POTO only because of ego problems. ''It is pure ego on the part of the Congress,'' he said. Swamy said that though some chief ministers had during their recently-held meeting opined that before bringing the ordinance they should have been consulted, it was unnecessary.

However, the Prime Minister has assured that all parties would be consulted before the Bill was piloted in Parliament, he said, adding that all chief ministers and members of a consultative committee of home affairs had agreed that there was a need for a special act to combat terrorism.

On the abrogation of Article 370, he said that the Congress Working Committee had torn the draft of the Article into pieces when it was introduced way back in 1948.

''But now, the very same Congress will call those who seek abolition of this provision as communal and fundamentalists. Even Nehru, while giving the special status, had said that it was only transitory.''

Former High Commissioner to Pakistan G. Parthasarathy said that Pakistan had been spreading false information for decades together. Another major hurdle was that there was no political stability in that country owing to the military's lust for power. This had a telling effect on its external policy, especially with India, he noted.

Even if a referendum was to be held based on the UN resolution, it could not be done without Pakistan withdrawing its terrorists from the Indian soil. He also warned that there were chances of imminent major offensive from the terrorists and the Army's hands should not be kept tied by any means.

Even if Kashmir was given to Pakistan on a platter the conflict would not end as the popular opinion was against that. In fact, the target of Pakistan was to destabilise the pluralist, secular fabric of our nation, he said.
 


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