Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member, Dr Karan Singh Thursday said that he has been distressed by fierce controversy that has broken out with regard to Article 370, flowing from an avoidable statement by the MoS in PMO’s office.
He said that the whole question is extremely sensitive and must be handled coolly and in a mature fashion. The sort of statements issued from both sides will only create further turmoil and tension in Jammu and Kashmir.
Singh told Srinagar based news gathering agency CNS that, “let it be recalled that my father Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession in October 1947 under unusual circumstances when a full scale war was raging due to the Pakistani based tribal invasion. It is true that the Instrument was the same as the document signed by all the other provincial states. However, whereas the other states later signed merger agreements, the relationship of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country was governed by a special set of circumstances, and hence given a special position. The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir which I signed into law in 1957, is still in force,” former Sadr-i-Riyasat Dr Karan Singh said.
He said that, “certainly Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, but that does not necessarily mean that it has to be treated exactly on par with other states. Hong Kong is an integral part of China but has been given a special dispensation. There are in fact numerous examples around the world in which due to special circumstances, certain areas or regions have been given a special dispensation. Though all talk of secession is totally unacceptable and uncalled for, the steam-roller approach is also not appropriate,” Singh said.
He further said 50 percent of the area of Jammu and Kashmir is under Pakistan control out of which Pakistan has leased a considerable portion of this land to China. He appealed to all concerned to kindly tone down the rhetoric and not let the Minister’s statement plunge the new government almost immediately into a complex and difficult situation.
“The whole question of Jammu and Kashmir has to be looked at in an integral fashion, including the international dimension, the constitutional position, the legal aspects as well as the political aspect,” he said.