“I do not see Kashmir from a Hindu-Muslim angle. I am just questioning the method by which Article 370 was defanged,” said Singh speaking to reporters here.
“Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said that the path for resolving Kashmir issue would come through ‘jambooriat, Kashmiriyat and insaniyat’ (democracy, Kashmiri culture and humanity). Atal-ji’s doctrine has been rejected by Narendra Modi,” said Singh.
The former chief minister argued that the political parties in Jammu and Kashmir —National Conference, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Congress and the Left— were ignored before taking the crucial decision.
“Leaders of four of the five mainstream parties were jailed and not consulted. Approximately 35,000 Central forces personnel were sent. The police of the valley including top authorities, officers, constables were line-attached, disarmed as paramilitary forces took charge of the police stations,” Singh alleged.
Arguing that the duties of the civil police are different from the para-military forces, the former chief minister said: “The Congress party’s stand is that the essence of the Constitution has been hurt.”
The former chief minister said that the after the BJP withdrew its support from coalition government headed by the PDP President’s rule was imposed.
“The Election Commission had said that the condition in Jammu and Kashmir was such that the Lok Sabha and assembly elections could be held there simultaneously, but that was not permitted,” said Singh.
“A governor, who has been appointed by the President and is neither a resident nor a voter of Jammu and Kashmir, took the decision on behalf of the people there that Article 370 and 35A can be withdrawn. This is what we are objecting,” he added.
“Kashmir, including POK, should be an integral part of India. I pray to God that peace prevails in Kashmir and brotherhood of thousands of years remains. There is no other option, but to pray to God,” said Singh.