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US Congressman's 'interference in India's internal affairs', but with applause for Modi on Art 370


A part of Srinagar when curfew was imposed in August


Washington:  A US Congressman from the Republican Party, has praised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Parliament for "promoting stability" in Jammu and Kashmir by revoking Article 370 which "created a polarising environment and was exploited politically".

George Holding, a Representative for North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District, said on Thursday in the House: "Up until recently, Kashmir had been governed by Article 370, which was an outdated provision of law that the Indian constitution recognised as 'temporary'."

He said,  quite in line with the central government's stand thatthe Indian Parliament "modified provisions that were an obstacle to economic development and promoted a sense of separatism", by revocating Article 370 on August 5.

"Article 370 might have worked well for those with political connections, but it denied economic opportunities for the people. It also created a polarising environment that was exploited politically."

He said during the past decades, "thousands of people lost their lives due to terrorist attacks. Several groups based in Pakistan were able to conduct cross-border terrorism that wreaked havoc on individuals and families, and led to a morbid economy".

"The Modi government had to make a decision on whether to continue with the policy or to pursue progress by changing the region's status.

"Madam Speaker, the people of Jammu and Kashmir deserve better and Prime Minister Modi was right to take bold steps to address this situation.

Again,  the Congressman joined the BJP contention that  "even with these changes, those seeking to cause disruption have continued to promote violence," Holding added.

In his all out praise for Modi's narrative "Pakistan-based terror groups have recently floated posters warning common citizens against venturing out, going to work, and visiting public places. The groups have continued to engage in cross-border terrorism and have attacked civilians and children. The militants have also attacked migrant workers and those who are involved in the apple business, which is the chief crop of Kashmir."

It is yet to be known how the government will react to an outside comment about Article 370 amendment,  which India has always insisted should remain an internal matter of India,  now when the remarks are superlatively laudatory.

(with IANS input)

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