Congress leader Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi
File Photo

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday withdrew the invitation he extended to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to visit Kashmir and advised the latter to seek proper permission before scheduling any visit in the near future.

"I want to put the matter pertaining to my invitation to rest. I extended this invitation when he made a misleading statement about violence in Kashmir. For five days he did not respond. Then he said I will take people along and will meet prisoners and detainees. Then I categorically stated that I don't accept your visit on these conditions. I withdraw this invitation and you can come after seeking proper permission," the Governor said while talking to ANI here.

Malik also promised that the BJP-led government will make the Jammu and Kashmir region so prosperous that residents of Pakistan occupied Kashmir would want to live in the newly carved out Union Territory.

The governor claimed that within 15 days there would be a visible improvement in the region. And to restore normalcy, the government will ensure absolute protection to people's lives, land and jobs.

"Even during Ghulam Nabi's time, there were lives lost. We are ensuring that not even a single life should be lost. Every Kashmiri life is precious for us. For us, the priority is to ensure that there would be no casualty, people can wait for ten days for restored telephone facilities. The region has seen strikes that went in for four months," added Malik.

The Governor also attacked the Congress and other opposition parties stating that their statements were helping Pakistan create an atmosphere of unrest in the region and advised them to keep the interest of the nation paramount.

While withdrawing his invitation to former Congress president he clarified that the earlier invitation was made to rectify his perception on the situation.

While speaking to ANI, Malik further elaborated, "This time, administration categorically told him not to come as it can disrupt the situation and normalcy is being restored and that we are dealing with threats from Pakistan. The administration has told him that his remarks will only give ammunition to Pakistan and this is exactly what happened. Pakistan PM Imran Khan mentioned the same in his tweet. This is a matter of national interest. He should help us restore normalcy."

The governor launched a scathing attack on Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha for suggesting that he should become BJP's chief in the state rather than holding the Governor's post.

Malik said that Chowdhury's reply on the issue of Kashmir in Lok Sabha during debate on the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir has 'adversely affected his party.

"I can guarantee that whenever there will be an election in the country, he will be quoted for calling Kashmir a UN issue. There is nothing to comment on his knowledge about these issues," said Malik.

The Governor also praised BSP leader Mayawati for her tweets. "She has made a historically correct statement and she is right in saying that opposition's clamour to visit the region is not in the interest of the nation," stated the Governor.

Commenting on Javed Miandad, former cricketer and his appeal to visit LoC along with others, Malik said, " India isn't bothered what he or others in Pakistan do. We will make the region heaven. "

-By Pragya Kaushika

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