Hyderabad: Retired Supreme Court judge N Santosh Hegde Tuesday said Articles 35A and 370, giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir, are required to be scrapped as they run counter to the rights of other states. He said in 1948 when the Maharaja of Kashmir agreed to merge the state of Kashmir with India, certain assurances were given to the people by introducing Article 35A and Article 370 of the Constitution.
Though the wording of this looks like the assurance is “permanent”, in the background in which it was given and the consequential things that have happened in the nation indicate it’s not possible to continue these articles because if Kashmir is an integral part of India, it can’t have a separate status compared to other states, Hegde said. “So, in today’s context both the articles are causing a lot of problems for the country as a whole”, the former Solicitor General of India told PTI in an interview. “So, I don’t think it’s possible to continue that article”.
He said “today’s situation” requires those articles to be scrapped because certain autonomy given under that Act would run counter to the rights of other states and if Kashmir is an integral part of India, then it must have only an equal status with others. “I think 70 years have gone by…whatever was the purpose of those articles…according to me, it has served that purpose.
Therefore, now it can’t be said that Kashmir is not an integral part of India. Therefore, these two articles do not have any place in the constitution anymore”, the former Karnataka Lokayukta said. Article 370 grants special status to J&K and 35A prohibits outsiders from purchasing land and property in that state.
The BJP has in its election manifesto promised to repeal the articles if it retains power after the Lok Sabha polls. Meanwhile, referring to campaigning by political parties for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, Hegde, a former Advocate General of Karnataka, said “We have come to the lowest possible standards in our electioneering now”.
Hegde mentioned in particular controversial comments made by Union Minister Maneka Gandhi regarding “minorities’ votes” and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on his BJP opponent and film actor Jaya Prada. “Politics is in the lowest ebb possible today. I think unless there is a change in the thinking and moral standard of these politicians go up, I think we are in big trouble in the days to come”, he said.
Irrespective of political parties, some of their members have gone to such a level that they don’t deserve to be in politics, he said. “And this is not the political campaign India would have expected from its leaders. It’s a very cheap and low level of campaigning, without any moral standards”, he said.
“Unfortunately, it’s not confined to only one political party. Every day standard is coming so low, it’s a very sad thing that in a country of values like India, that we have to suffer this”, Hegde said..
Boris Johnson is the new UK Prime Minister
LONDON: Brexit hardliner Boris Johnson has won the race to lead Britain’s governing Conservative Party, and will become the country’s next prime minister.
He defeated his rival Jeremy Hunt overwhelmingly in a vote of Conservative Party members.
He will be installed as prime minister in a formal handover from Theresa May on Wednesday.
The victory is a triumph for the 55-year-old Johnson, an ambitious but erratic politician whose political career has veered between periods in high office and spells on the sidelines.
Johnson has vowed that Britain will quit the European Union, “come what may,” on the scheduled Brexit departure date of Oct. 31 even if it means leaving without a divorce deal
But he faces a rocky ride from a Parliament determined to prevent him from taking the UK out of the bloc without a withdrawal agreement.
Glad to see PM Modi asked for Trump’s help on Kashmir, says Farooq Abdullah
National Conference patriarch on Tuesday welcomed US President Donald Trump’s claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sought United States’s in resolving the Kashmir dispute.
“It is a matter of happiness that when PM Modi talked to Trump he had told him that Kashmir issue is complex & if there can be some help it would be good. I congratulate Modi ji, he too wants to use everything to solve this issue that is creating tensions between India & Pakistan,” Farooq Abdullah said.
US President Donald Trump on Monday offered to be the “mediator” between the two countries on the Kashmir issue as he met Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House for the first time.
Trump said that he is ready to help, if the two countries ask.
However, India on Monday denied Trump’s claim that PM Modi had asked him to mediate in resolving the Kashmir issue with Pakistan.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted, “We have seen @POTUS’s remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India & Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by PM @narendramodi to US President.”
The allegation by Donald Trump drew sharp criticism from Opposition as they demanded a clarification from the government. Several Opposition leaders, including Congress’s Shashi Tharoor and National Congress chief and Farooq Abdullah’s son Omar Abdullah, raised doubts on the validity of Trump’s statement.
“Personally I think @realDonaldTrump is talking out of his hat when he says @PMOIndia asked for US involvement in solving the Kashmir issue but I’d like to see @MEAIndia call Trump out on his claim,” Omar Abdullah tweeted.
In his tweet, Shashi Tharoor said, “I honestly don’t think Trump has the slightest idea of what he’s talking about. He has either not been briefed or not understood what (Prime Minister) Modi was saying or what India’s position is on 3rd-party mediation. That said, MEA should clarify that Delhi has never sought his intercession.”
India maintains that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral one and no third party has any role.
Kashmir mediation: Ex-diplomats feel Trump ‘did a lot of damage’
Washington: Donald Trump’s controversial remarks that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought his mediation on resolving the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan will “damage” bilateral ties, according to former diplomats and experts, with one of them saying the US president did not do his homework.
India has already firmly rejected Trump’s claim, which he made on Monday during a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House, saying that New Delhi’s consistent position has been that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally.
“I would like to categorically state that no such request has been made by the Prime Minister to the US President,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Reacting to Trump’s statement, former US Ambassador to India Richard Verma told PTI that “The President did a lot of damage today. His comments on Kashmir and Afghanistan were way off the mark.”
According to Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistan Ambassador to the US, the President would soon learn the complexity of South Asian issues.
“President Trump wants Pakistan’s help with a deal on Afghanistan and has dangled the prospect of help with what he thinks Pakistan wants,” he said.
“He praised Imran Khan like he praised North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. This is his standard procedure in trying to get a deal,” he noted.
“Just as he has not got a deal on the Korean peninsula, he will soon learn that South Asia’s historical issues are also more complex than fashioning a real estate deal,” Haqqani said.
Former State Department diplomat Alyssa Ayres, who is now with the Council for Foreign Relations think tank, said Trump did not come prepared for the meeting.
“I am worried about the President’s lack of preparation for his meetings, and his impromptu statements. His statement on Kashmir today (that PM Modi sought mediation from Trump) was categorically denied by the Indian government within hours,” Ayres told PTI.
“Diplomacy requires careful attention to detail, to language, and to the facts of history. We did not see that today,” she said in response to a question.
Nicholas Burns, who served as under Secretary of State for Political Affairs under the Bush Administration and played a key role in the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, said the Indian government has been consistent for many years in rejecting the US as a mediator in the Kashmir dispute.
The former diplomats and experts were responding to questions on President Trump’s remarks that he is ready to mediate between India and Pakistan on the contentious Kashmir issue.
“We have seen President Trump’s remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India and Pakistan, on the Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by Prime Minister to the US President,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in New Delhi on Monday.
“It has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism. The Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally,” Kumar said.
President Trump, who is known to make inaccurate statements, claimed that Prime Minister Modi asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue when they had a bilateral meeting on June 28 on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan.
“I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago and we talked about this subject (Kashmir). And he actually said, ‘would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?’ I said, ‘where?’ (Modi said) ‘Kashmir’,” Trump said on Monday during his talks with Khan, their first since the latter came to power in August, 2018.
“I think they (Indians) would like to see it resolved. I think you would like to see it resolved. And if I can help, I would love to be a mediator. It should be….we have two incredible countries that are very, very smart with very smart leadership, (and they) can’t solve a problem like that. But if you would want me to mediate or arbitrate, I would be willing to do that,” Trump said.
“So all those issues should be resolved. So, he (Modi) has to ask me the same thing. So maybe we’ll speak to him. Or I’ll speak to him and we’ll see if we can do something,” Trump said.
Khan welcomed Trump’s remarks. “President, I can tell you that, right now, you would have the prayers of over a billion people if you can mediate and resolve this issue,” he said.