Before all-party meet, Advani calls UPA spineless on Valley

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 15 2010, 05:51am hrs
A day ahead of the crucial all-party meeting to discuss the tense situation in Jammu and Kashmir, BJP leader LK Advani today criticised the Centre as well as the state government, saying the ruling UPA coalition was totally spineless and about to capitulate before Pakistan-supported secessionists.

Speaking at a party workshop for its media spokespersons, Advani said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir was alarming and that the state government had completely collapsed.

However, the mess in Kashmir is not the making of only the government in Srinagar. In New Delhi, the UPA government is totally clueless and spineless, he said. Advani said that in the coming months, the handling of the Kashmir situation was likely to become the partys main issue for mass agitation.

BJP leaders have twice met the Prime Minister, urging the government not to dilute the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, as is being demanded by the state government, or grant more autonomy to the state. As violence continues unabated in the Valley, the government has called an all-party meeting tomorrow to create a consensus on the steps that need to be taken.

There is talk of a political solution to the Kashmir issue. Instead of giving a fitting reply to the secessionists, the government has been demonising the security forces. There is continuing talk of diluting the AFSPA, and withdrawal of the forces. This is nothing but a surrender before Islamabads strategy of breaking Indias post-1947 unity, Advani said.

Pointing out that even Jawaharlal Nehru had viewed Article 370, which confers special status on Jammu and Kashmir, as a temporary provision, Advani lamented that rather than working towards gradual abrogation of Article 370, the UPA government was bending over backwards to placate the secessionists.

We are all in favour of giving greater powers to all states as the concept of federalism warrants. But in the name of autonomy, we cannot allow the process of Kashmirs integration to be reversed. Therefore, I would like to warn the UPA government that if they decide to bow before the secessionists design in J&K, the country will not pardon them, he said.