New Delhi: For BJP, it was back to Nehru bashing on Sunday. Blaming the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru squarely for the Kashmir imbroglio, Home Minister Amit Shah said going to the UN on the Kashmir issue was more than a Himalayan blunder.
He further asserted that the entire world has supported the move to abrogate the state's special status under Article 370.
Shah insisted that there are no restrictions in the Valley now and exuded confidence that Jammu and Kashmir will be the most developed region in the country in the next 10 years because of the bold step taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 5.
The minister accused the Opposition of spreading "misinformation" about restrictions in the Valley. "Where are the restrictions? It is only in your mind. There are no restrictions. There is only misinformation about restrictions," he said addressing a seminar on national security.
Shah said curfew has been lifted in all 196 police stations in Kashmir, and only in eight police stations areas Section 144 of was imposed. "People are free to move around anywhere in Kashmir. Many journalists are visiting Kashmir regularly," he said
Referring to the recently concluded United Nations General Assembly session, Shah said all world leaders have supported India's move on Article 370.
"All world leaders had gathered for seven days (in New York). Not a single leader has raised the issue (of Jammu and Kashmir). This is a big diplomatic victory of the prime minister," he said but no one raised the issue of human rights violation of jawans, their widows or the children who were orphaned.
"But people are trying to create a hue and cry over lack of mobile connections for a few days. Lack of phone connection is not a human rights violation," he said.
Shah also said 10,000 new landline connections were given in Jammu and Kashmir while 6,000 PCOs have also come up in the last two months. "The decision on Article 370 will strengthen the unity and integrity of India," he said, adding the situation in Jammu and Kashmir will be completely normal soon.
The home minister said on October 27, 1947, the Indian Army had reached Kashmir and defeated Pakistani attackers. It was marching towards POK and they were on the verge of a victory.
"But suddenly the then government announced ceasefire. Where was the need for announcing the ceasefire when we were about to win the war. Had the ceasefire been not declared, PoK would have been part of India now," he said.
The home minister said because of Article 370, "people always had to say 'Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India'. We don't have to say so when we talk about Karnataka, West Bengal, Gujarat or Delhi."
Shah, however, praised former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for signing the 'Simla Accord' saying she ensured that Jammu and Kashmir remains a bilateral issue.
The home minister rejected the argument that scrapping Article 370 will "endanger" Kashmiri culture, noting that regional languages and traditions were flourishing in other states.
"I want to ask those people, is there any threat to Gujarat or its 'Garba' because it does not have Article 370? Is West Bengal or its 'Durga Puja' facing any threat as there is no Article 370 there? Are Karnataka or the Kannada language and Maharashtra or Marathi culture facing threat because there is no Article 370 there," he asked.