In yet another embarrassing moment for the opposition Congress, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday quoted the Indian political party while launching an attack on New Delhi over the Kashmir issue.
“For a start, they have to lift the curfew, that’s the beginning. Even the Congress party in India has commented that poor people have been shut inside for 50 days. No one knows what’s happening with the political prisoners… (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi has boxed himself in a blind alley,” Khan told reporters at a press conference here on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly session.
This is not the first time that Congress has been left red-faced with Pakistan’s actions over the Kashmir matter.
Earlier this month, the opening pages of a leaked Pakistan’s dossier on Jammu and Kashmir contained the statements made by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370.
“It has been 20 days since the people of Jammu and Kashmir had their freedom and civil liberties curtailed. Leaders of the Opposition and Press got a taste of draconian administration and brute force unleashed on people of Jammu and Kashmir when we tried to visit Srinagar,” Gandhi had been quoted as saying in the pages.
Adding insult to injury, Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari last month wrote a letter to 18 UN Special Procedures mandate on the Kashmir issue. In her letter, Mazari had claimed that Gandhi noted that people are dying in Jammu and Kashmir.
These developments led to a furore by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, which accused Congress of siding with Pakistan and speaking in the language of the neighbouring country.
Amidst this, Gandhi had clarified his stance and hit out at Pakistan for instigating violence in Jammu and Kashmir and asserted that matters related to the region are India’s internal issues with no room for interference by Islamabad.
The Congress, too, reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir was, is, and shall always remain a part of India.
Since August 5, tensions between India and Pakistan soared after New Delhi abrogated provisions of Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the region into two separate Union Territories (UTs). The move shocked and rattled Islamabad, which has since then, downgraded bilateral ties and attempted to internationalise the strictly bilateral matter, but to no avail.
Pakistan has been resorting to anti-India rhetoric and has been raking up the so-called mistreatment of the Muslims in India, but has been snubbed globally over the Kashmir issue.
India has repeatedly maintained that its constitutional provisions on Kashmir were strictly internal, a stance supported by the international community, including the countries from SAARC and the Arab World.