Cong slams Naidu, says govt. trying to divide country on Kashmir

New Delhi, Aug. 18 : Dubbing Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu's remark that the grand old party leaders are not guided by national interest but by political opportunism as 'unwarranted', the Congress on Thursday said the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre was trying to divide the country on a sensitive issue like Kashmir.

"The statement is unwarranted, irresponsible and most unfortunate. The country has spoken in one voice in the Parliament, in the all-party meeting. Both the Houses of Parliament have adopted a resolution unequivocally condemning Pakistan's role and at the same time conveying our concern over the developments in Kashmir," Congress leader Anand Sharma told ANI.

Sharma asserted that the Congress, when in government and outside government, has been clear about the need to fight terrorism and called for an end to terrorism from the Pakistani territory.

"This has been firmly taken up by the UPA Government in the past and even today we are of this view that this has to stop.

That's why we had asked the Prime Minister to tell the country or share with the opposition leaders as to what was the understanding reached between him and Nawaz Sharif, what were the assurances given which convinced him that the entire regime of Pakistan - the government, the army and the ISI was supportive of the peace process that he and Nawaz Sharif had embarked upon," he added.

Escalating his attack, the Congress leader said what India has got in return because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's incoherent engagement with Pakistan are attacks in Gurdaspur, Udhampur, Pathankot with the latest being open infiltration and terror attacks in the Kashmir Valley.

Asserting that Kashmir is an integral part of India, Sharma said the real issue is that of Pakistan occupied Kashmir as the state of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh and Gilgit and Baltistan were part of the state of Kashmir, adding Jammu and Ladakh exceeded to the union of India.

"Why is the government trying to divide the country on such a sensitive issue? When he speaks from the Red Fort on Independence Day addressing the nation he is talking of LED bulbs which he talked from Toronto to Delhi, but he did not utter a word on Kashmir unrest or the need to heal the wounds and bring back our young people in the mainstream," he added.

Stating that the Congress had refrained from doubts, Sharma said individual comments and observations should not be misrepresented to project that the grand old party lacks clarity and firmness in its position.

Questioning former home minister P. Chidambaram's remarks on the Kashmir unrest, Naidu earlier today said it appears that the grand old party leaders are not guided by the national interest but by political opportunism.

Naidu said the Congress has once again displayed its insensitivity on the Jammu and Kashmir issue as its own leaders are not in consonance.

The Union Minister said the only thing that is consistent about the Congress Party's policy towards Pakistan and Jammu Kashmir is their inconsistency.

Naidu's reaction came a day after Chidambaram said the Congress, National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should come together to find a solution on Jammu and Kashmir.

Source: ANI