Time to change discourse on Kashmir: Jitendra Singh
Instead of referring to J&K as an “issue”, the country must discuss how to restore the territory that is under “illegal occupation of Pakistan”, said Jitendra Singh, minister of state in the PM’s office, on Saturday.
“We will have to change the discourse of this discussion. For many years, we have been involved in a discussion we have been forced into. We need to change its conditions and direction on our terms,” he said.
The minister who is also a Lok Sabha MP from Jammu said it is erroneous to think that the state’s accession to India in 1947 was done with pre-conditions. He said there was no mention of plebiscite in the instrument of accession signed by the then ruler of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh. “Maharaja signed the instrument of accession like other princely states… . There is no issue as the Kashmir issue; it is one of the 29 states in India… as much as UP, Bihar and Punjab,” he said.
Without naming anyone, the BJP minister blamed the previous governments for allowing discussions on the accession of Kashmir to India and raising it at international forums.
“…There were some mistakes of the past governments… plebiscite is not mentioned in accession document. There were only two choices offered then, to join India or Pakistan. It is better to get over it,” he said.
Singh was speaking at the release of a book “Kashmir Mein Aatankvad” (Terrorism in Kashmir) by a former army official, Major Saras Tripathi