Srinagar: Congress President Rahul Gandhi has said that the killings in Kashmir had fallen drastically during the United Progressive Alliance government from 2004 to 2014.
He said that peace returned to the valley during the UPA regime and it happened by being strong with Pakistan. Gandhi said this while speaking exclusively to weekly magazine The Week.
Answering a question about how Congress will ‘tackle terrorism’ if it comes to power, Gandhi said: “We showed, between 2004 and 2014, how to fight terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. When we left the government in 2014, deaths in Kashmir had fallen dramatically. Peace had returned. We did it how? We did it by being strong with Pakistan, by isolating Pakistan internationally, by putting massive amount of pressure on them, by punishing them when they misbehaved.”
He said that the UPA also did it by securing “our own” people in Jammu and Kashmir—by embracing them, by giving them a vision, by showing them that India cares, by showing them that actually India is a better way forward, by showing them that you can actually get jobs in India, by showing that you can get political decentralisation in India through the panchayati raj system.
Responding to another question about the argument that only the Modi government can give a strong response to terrorism, he said: “Look, I understand that Pakistan will take every opportunity to carry out terrorism in India. But, is it not the responsibility of our government to stop them? Where was the prime minister when those 40 CRPF men died? He was making a video! Look at the insensitivity of the man. He spent three and a half hours after the event making a video!”
“Who is it that masterminded the attack? Masood Azhar. Who released him, escorted him to Kandahar and handed him over to Pakistan? The BJP, because they couldn’t face terrorists in Kandahar.
“Please look at the number of people who died in Jammu and Kashmir between 2004-14 and 2014-19, and how the numbers have increased. The statistics speak for themselves.”