Rahul Gandhi in soup after Pak quotes him in petition on Kashmir to UN
BJP demands apology from him for giving Pakistan a 'handle' to target India in the United Nations
New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday slammed Pakistan for "mischievously" dragging Rahul Gandhi's name in a petition reportedly moved in the United Nations to justify its "lies and misinformation" on Jammu and Kashmir.
Congress also demanded an apology from the ruling BJP for "doing cheap politics" on the issue. In a statement, Congress said Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions were and would always be an integral part of India, and it accused Pakistan of instigating violence in J&K. Rahul also tweeted on Wednesday that J&K is India's internal matter and there is no room for Pakistan or any other country to interfere.
'Rahul insulting India'
Meanwhile, the BJP hit out at Rahul, accusing him of "insulting" the country through his comments on Kashmir situation and giving Pakistan a "handle" to target India in the UN. Union minister Prakash Javadekar demanded an apology from Rahul and the Congress, while describing his remarks, in which he had spoken about reports of violence and death of people in Kashmir, as "most irresponsible politics" the country has witnessed.
"He has made a complete U-turn not due to his own will but due to circumstances and public pressure," Javadekar said. Rahul's allegations about violence in J&K were wrong, he said, adding that it was made because of that party's "vote bank" politics.
Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala hit back at Javadekar, dubbing him a "misinformation minister" and one who has "lost his political balance".
'BJP needs to introspect'
"We think the BJP and its government need to introspect. How much will the BJP fall and lower its political stature? If they have a little realisation, they should come forward and apologise," he said.
Surjewala also accused Javadekar of trying to politicise a stand united taken "for India, by Indians and in favour of the entire country in front of the world community". "It is tragic that Javadekar is twisting Rahul's statement, which reflects that Congress and all other parties are united. We're in unison to take on the fake propaganda of Pakistan vis-à-vis the state of J&K," Surjewala said.
"We warn Pakistan and urge it that instead of ever questioning the status of J&K, and Ladakh, they need to answer and set their own house in order. They need to answer vis-à-vis human rights violations," he said.
'Pak behind violence in J&K'
Surjewala said Rahul has said violence in J&K is instigated and supported by terror groups in Pakistan that thrive under the political and military patronage of the country's government and Islamabad should be told to desist from supporting terror activities on Indian soil. "Does Javadekar have an objection to that? Is it not a statement that shows the consolidated and united face of India?" Surjewala posed.
JK guv justifies restrictions
Meanwhile, J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik assured the people of the state that their identity and culture would be preserved and justified the imposition of severe restrictions, saying it was done to prevent any loss of life.
In his first press conference after the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Jammu & Kashmir's special status and divide the state into two Union Territories on August 5, J&K governor announced that over 50,000 vacant government posts will be filled up in the next three months, making it the biggest such drive in the state.
SC: Constitution bench to hear pleas against Article 370
The Supreme Court on Wednesday referred a batch of petitions challenging the changes in J&K's constitutional status by abrogating provisions of Article 370 to a five-judge Constitution bench. The SC, which said the petitions will be listed for hearing in the first week of October, also issued notices to the Centre and the J&K administration on the batch of pleas challenging the presidential order on Article 370. The SC also asked the Centre and the J&K administration to reply to the pleas seeking removal of several regressive restrictions in the state, including the communications blockade, that are hampering the functioning of the media. The SC bench posted the
Pak min predicts Indo-Pak war in Oct
Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Wednesday predicted that a full-blown war between India and Pakistan may likely occur in the month of "October or the next month." "This is going to be the last war between both countries," he was quoted as saying by Pakistan Today. His remark comes two days after PM Imran Khan threatened India of a nuclear war.
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