Sharad Pawar, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief on Saturday spoke of Pakistan's hospitality during his visit while adding that people are making false statements on the situation in Pakistan for 'political gains.' Moreover, Sharad Pawar dared the BJP government abrogate Article 371 of the Constitution, which has special provisions for the northeastern states like it did in the case of Jammu and Kashmir.
He said, "Now what about Article 371? Why are you not lifting Article 371 from North-East states? Lift that, we will support you and let people buy land there too... Why only Kashmir? They are trying to only do things against minorities and trying to spread terror among minorities," he said at an event.
Speaking over the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, Sharad Pawar stated that the government should have taken people into confidence before their actions. He said, "There was a commission set up and we were of the view that if you want to do something then you have to take the people of Kashmir into confidence before taking such a decision... Although everything went fine the people should have been taken into confidence... The only benefit now is that people can buy land there and before they were not able to."
In a veiled attack on the BJP, Sharad Pawar said that people are spreading false information to gain political mileage.
"I have visited Pakistan and received their hospitality... Pakistanis have relatives in India and they want to meet them and vice versa. But there are visa issues... People here say that those in Pakistan are facing injustice and are unhappy ....these things are being said only for political gains without understanding the actual situation in Pakistan. Those in power here are spreading false things for political benefits," he said.
Sharad Pawar said that nobody can test the loyalty of a citizen, based on his social or cultural status. "Some powers are trying to spread an ideology that you can survive in this country only if you follow a particular faith... For you to be an Indian, you don't have to prove all of this... Some people have an issue saying certain things and targeting minorities... A section of the majority is trying to create an imbalance by influencing and prioritising a certain section of the society," Sharad Pawar said.
"As a party, we do not differentiate between people on the basis of their caste and we support equality and all forces trying to create disharmony should not be supported. Anybody supporting mob lynching should not be supported. Such people are cowards and they need to be taught a lesson," he added. Sharad Pawar also stated that there is a new party in the market, 'Vanchit Party.' "Show support to Congress, but work for BJP," he added.
Article 370 was abrogated on August 5 by the Indian Parliament, following which the state was put under a communication lockdown, heavy military deployed and mainstream Opposition leaders were put on house arrest as a security measure. Following the abrogation, Pakistan has been trying to get the attention of the global community citing "genocide" by PM Modi-led government.
(With ANI inputs)