A day after senior PDP leader and Education Minister, Altaf Bukhari, said that BJP National General Secretary, Ram Madhav’s, remarks that “everything is fair in love and war” over use of human shield by army would legitimize crime, BJP today hit back stating Minister’s remarks would ” encourage separatists and other secessionists.”
Without naming Bukhari, BJP spokesman, Khalid Jahangir, said, “It’s in unfortunate that a senior leader and minister in our coalition issued a statement without knowing the facts. Such statements encourage separatists and other secessionist elements.”
He added that it was unfortunate that statement of the party’s National General Secretary, Ram Madhav, has been misrepresented. “A notion has been created that BJP is against its own people but the fact is that BJP doesn’t want lives of innocents to be lost and cares for the common masses,” he said.
On Friday while strongly condemning Madhav’s remarks, Altaf said one fails to understand “against whom Madhav has declared a war”.
“Is it a war declared against Kashmiris who, despite all odds, cast their votes, reaffirming their belief in democracy? Or it is a war declared to satiate the sanguine electoral interests of a particular political party in the country?,” he asked.
Bukhari said that ‘modern nations operate under the presumption that in the case of an armed conflict, the state must do everything to ensure civilians are not hurt.”
“However, Madhav seems to be justifying what is unjustifiable under law. Almost all general legal approaches consider human shields illegal, both in domestic circumstances and international conflicts,” Altaf said.
However BJP while referring to the recent statement of Ram Madhav, said, “The National General Secretary had appreciated and applauded the security forces for saving the innocent lives and not falling into the trap of terrorists, whose only agenda is to celebrate the death of every Kashmiri every day.”
BJP said that the PDP Ministers should acknowledge the contribution of the security forces rather than “add fuel to the fire.” “They should appreciate the security forces for tackling the terrorists and not allowing them to succeed in their nefarious designs,” Jehangir added.
Bukhari had also stated that some people in India have unfortunately started arguing that using humans as shields in military operations is a justified response to Kashmiri protesters who hurl stones to give vent to their political aspirations.
“These statements smack of a hyper-nationalist environment in the country. Unfortunately, people with right-wing approach consider any support for human rights in Kashmir to be anti-national. Let Madhav be reminded that no civilized society can afford to use its citizens as shields in military operations,” he said.
The education minister also strongly condemned the remarks by BJP minister Chander Prakash Ganga that Kashmiri stone throwers need to be dealt with bullets alone. “Bullets can’t win the battle of ideas,” Altaf said, asserting that Ganga’s remarks speak volumes about “intellectual bankruptcy of a person who is holding the responsibility of a public office.”