Congress divided over PM’s Balochistan remarks

New Delhi, Aug. 17 : Even as Congress leader Salman Khurshid attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for raking up the issue Balochistan issue in his Independence Day speech, his party colleague and leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday said his party supports the government on the issue, because there should be no violations of human rights and democratic principles there.

"India should raise its voice against atrocities and human rights violation in Balochistan Our party supports the government on the issue, because there should be no violations of human rights and democratic principles," Kharge told ANI.

"My party's stand is that if there is suppression of human rights in a country, then being a democratic country, if there is some view on that, we should not suppress those views.

It is a democratic right. As far as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is concerned, it is an integral part of India. Even the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution says Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. If there is human rights violation in the occupied Kashmir, we condemn that," added the Congress leader.

Responding to report that Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is unlikely to attend the SAARC Finance Ministers' conference in Pakistan, Kharge said, "When the government has taken a stand, I don't think it will be appropriate for me to comment on that, because at the all-party meeting we had said that there should be no politics on Kashmir and we should remain united when it comes to unity and integrity of the nation.

Thus, we support the outcome of the all-party meeting. Whether Jaitley goes to SAARC conference or not, only they can take this decision." When asked whether the decision was influenced by Home Minister Rajnath Singh's experience during his visit to Islamabad, he said, "Everybody condemned that.

When you (PM Modi) go without an invitation, it tends to happen. The country's interest is very important, and not individual's self-respect. All parties have asked the government to keep these things in mind." Reports suggested that Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das is likely to represent India at the two-day event to be hosted in Islamabad from August 25.

The conference is taking place weeks after the SAARC Home Ministers' Conference held in Islamabad..

Source: ANI