Congress backs PM Modi over Balochistan, PoK issue; rejects Salman Khurshid's remarks
Understanding the sensitivity of the issue, the Congress has backed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Also, the party cornered the comments made by its senior leader Salman Khurshid on Prime Minister's Independence Day speech, dubbing them as "his personal view".
Further, the Congress asked the Centre to raise the issue of atrocities in Balochistan and PoK in bilateral meetings with Pakistan, as well as at international forums.
"Congress does not subscribe to the statement made by Salman Khurshid who is a senior leader. He can have his own opinion. Our view is very, very clear. Congress party believes there are serious human rights violations in Balochistan and the voice of democratic dissent is being suppressed by Pakistani forces and agencies. Similar human rights violations are being committed by the armed forces of Pakistan in PoK which is an integral part of India."
"All such issues need to be raised and need to be sorted out. We support the government. However, what is Prime Minister Modi going to do for taking up these issues on a bilateral forum with Pakistan so that suppression of democratic dissent in Balochistan and PoK come to an end? What is the government going to do about raising these issues on international forums?" the head of Congress' communication department Randeep Surjewala said.
He said the nomenclature PoK means that the territory is an integral part of India and Kashmir's accession to India is an issue which was settled decades ago.
Mr Surjewala said Pakistan had attacked and occupied a part of Jammu and Kashmir which was integral to India. "This issue needs to be sorted out and it can only be sorted out in favour of India," he said.
(With PTI inputs)