Advani flays govt over Hurriyat stance

Himalayan News Service

Lakhanpur (J&K), June 23:

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president LK Advani today lashed out at the government for its decision to recognise the separatist Hurriyat as the sole representative of the people of the state. “The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government has committed a big mistake, which will have far reaching repercussions,” Advani told a huge gathering of BJP workers at this town bordering Punjab. Advani, who as deputy prime minister in the previous BJP-led government had last year initiated talks with the leadership of the All Party Hurriyat Conference, said: “When we talked to Hurriyat, we did not acknowledge them as the only representative of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “But the UPA government has gone the whole hog in according the Hurriyat the status they had been looking for. This is unfortunate.” Advani was here to attend the rally organised to commemorate the death anniversary of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, who had died in Jammu and Kashmir in 1953 after being arrested there for launching a movement against the special status of the state under Article 370 of the constitution. Mukherjee was the founder of the Jana Sangh, the party from which the BJP evolved. Recalling the days after the partition of the Indian subcontinent, Advani said that the Congress governments had committed two major blunders. “It was a big disaster to have ordered the Indian Army to halt when the troops were pushing back tribal invaders from Kashmir,” he said, referring to the first war fought by the two countries in 1947-48. Secondly, he said Jammu and Kashmir’s special status had kept it distanced from the rest of the country, and terrorism was one of the manifestations of this. Advani was unsparing in his criticism of Islamabad.