Srinagar: Senior congress leader Tariq Hameed Karra, who has filed a petition in the Supreme Court to argue the case for protection of Article 35A, has warned that if the Constitutional provision is removed, it will provide fertile ground for hostile neighbouring powers to intensify the war in Kashmir, which will then engulf the whole of India.
“If the PDP and BJP think that the abrogation of Article 35 A will affect only Kashmir, they are living in a fool’s world,” Karra told Kashmir Reader in an interview. He added that the civil unrest in Kashmir will create geo-political forces in the region hostile to India.
“Look, if 35A is scrapped, it will lead to civil war in Kashmir. The neighbouring country (Pakistan) will accelerate the sending of armed intruders into the state. It can force India to go to war with Pakistan. China will not remain a mute spectator. Its military, economic and political interests are tied to Pakistan now. China will become party to the war. So, if the BJP thinks this war will remain restricted to Kashmir, they are living in fool’s paradise. It will engulf the whole of India.”
As such, he said, the new geo-political order in the region will be hostile to India and its strategic and political interests.
“China has already multifarious reasons to be hostile to India. It is not only the border, but also economic reasons,” Karra said.
“China has already opened war fronts in the northeast and Ladakh regions. It is going to have a presence till Gujarat through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The South China Sea is already a bone of contention between the US, southeast Asian countries and to some extent, India. By abrogating Article 35A, you are giving an invitation to both China and Pakistan to exploit the situation in Kashmir. They are waiting in the wings,” said Karra, one of the founding members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“The BJP should understand this thing. They should not touch the special status of Kashmir. If they do, they will invite trouble for entire India and the region,” he said.
Karra won the Parliament seat of Budgam in 2014 by defeating National Conference President Farooq Abudllah. After the uprising last year, he submitted his resignation from the Lok Sabha and from the PDP. He then joined the Congress.
Last week, the Supreme Court accepted Karra’s petition and empanelled him as a private respondent in the Article 35A case, the hearing of which has been deferred till after Diwali.
According to media reports, his petition will be contested by former home minister and senior advocate P Chidambaram.
Karra further said that finance minister Haseeb Drabu had not returned with any assurances from the central government on defending Article 35A.
“Drabu went to Delhi for lobbying. What did he get, except getting an assurance that the hearing will be postponed,” Karra said. “The state’s laywer, Fali Nariman, was available for the case hearing. But they delayed the hearing for unknown reasons.”
“Article 35A is our minimum right and part of our bargain with the Indian Union. We will not tolerate any attempt to fiddle with it,” he said.