Ghulam Nabi Azad says Union ministers’ visit to Jammu and Kashmir is ‘third bid to spread lies’ about ground situation after abrogation of Article 370

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday said that by arranging visits of Union ministers to Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre has made a 'third bid to spread lies' about situation there post abrogation of its special status.

Press Trust of India January 16, 2020 22:44:56 IST
Ghulam Nabi Azad says Union ministers’ visit to Jammu and Kashmir is ‘third bid to spread lies’ about ground situation after abrogation of Article 370
  • Azad, who is in Jammu on a two-day visit along with his party colleague Ambika Soni, said the Central ministers are coming to the Union Territory to celebrate its 'destruction'

  • His comments come a day after sources in Delhi said a group of central ministers will visit Jammu and Kashmir starting from 18 January

  • He said that in the past, the government twice 'misled and deceived' the people of the country and the world by conducting 'guided tours' of MEPs

Jammu: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday said that by arranging visits of Union ministers to Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre has made a "third bid to spread lies" about ground situation after abrogation of its special status.

Azad, who is in Jammu on a two-day visit along with his party colleague Ambika Soni, said the Central ministers are coming to the Union Territory to celebrate its "destruction".

Ghulam Nabi Azad says Union ministers visit to Jammu and Kashmir is third bid to spread lies about ground situation after abrogation of Article 370

File image of Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. PTI

"This is a third attempt to mislead and misguide people of the world, Jammu and Kashmir and India. They are coming here for a third time to tell lies," Azad told reporters.

His comments come a day after sources in Delhi said a group of central ministers will visit Jammu and Kashmir starting from 18 January including sensitive areas in the Valley to spread awareness about the positive impact of abrogation of Article 370 provisions and the development measures taken by the government for the region.

Azad criticised the move. "Till today, they don't know how to run the government. They have bitterly failed."

He said that in the past, the government twice "misled and deceived" the people of the country and the world by conducting "guided tours" of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) and foreign envoys.

In order to influence the international media reportage on the "destruction" and situation in Kashmir, the government conducted tours of MEPs and envoys to propagate their version of the story to the world, the Rajya Sabha member said.

On 9 January, a team of 15 envoys including the US Ambassador to India went on a two-day government-sponsored visit to Jammu and Kashmir.

Before that, a Delhi-based think tank had taken 23 EU MPs on a two-day visit to assess the situation in the Union Territory. The government had distanced itself from the MEP visit.

Azad said on Thursday that by dividing Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, keeping politicians under house arrest, "destroying" trade, industry, tourism, business and transport, and banning political activities of Opposition, the government has “destroyed” Jammu and Kashmir.

"The chapter of destruction of Jammu and Kashmir started with formations of union territories," he said.

He said that the political leaders from Kashmir who were called to New Delhi one by one and "tutored", were presented before the envoys, but civil society, media and traders were disallowed to meet them and the previous delegation.

On speculations of formation of a third front in Jammu and Kashmir, he said they are handed-picked by Centre and its agencies and "tutored" to toe their line.

He also demanded a fair probe into the case of suspended Jammu and Kashmir deputy SP Davinder Singh who has been arrested for sheltering and assisting terrorists.

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