PDP MP Nazir Ahmed Laway tells Liz Mathew that the government’s move to scrap special status would further alienate the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
What would be the immediate implication for the state?
People are really angry, naturally. They (the central government) had not discussed this with anyone. They have done it on their own will. We are also disturbed. But the BJP says it has been a demand of the people for years. So, they say people are happy. Which part of Kashmir are they talking about? People are angry. But to express it, no one is allowed to get out. They have kept everyone locked inside their homes. This BJP government wielded a sharp-edged sword because they have power. What can people do? Today it is Kashmir, tomorrow it could be some other state. I feel that they would indulge in this kind of bulldozing wherever they feel like.
How do you react to the argument that those who have allegiance to India would be happy?
See, we are also part of this country. We are Indians. We should also be heard. There were troubles in other parts of the country, like in Punjab? Did they handle it like this? There were many states in the Northeast. It did not happen there too. I don’t know why only Jammu and Kashmir gets this deal. This is a breach of trust with the people of Kashmir.
Are you planning to challenge it?
Yes, certainly. We will challenge it politically and with the other ways available to us. I think we should go back to Kashmir and organise people to protest against this. All political leaders in Kashmir should get together and discuss. We should go to court together. We have to defend Kashmir otherwise the situation in Kashmir will be worse….
You tore the Constitution.
What we have torn is just a book, but what the BJP government has torn is the Constitution. You can imagine, if people like MPs, who are conscious of the decorum of the House and Parliament, have become agitated after seeing what this government is doing, what would be the common man’s reaction in Kashmir?
Now that the Centre will directly control law and order, how would it affect the people in Kashmir?
That will happen according to the laws. Law of the land should prevail. But difficulties will increase when you don’t have a government of people from there.
Do you think delimitation will also happen soon?
Not immediately. But I must say that they are capable of doing anything…People of Jammu and Kashmir will be further alienated…