Congress leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday alleged that Kashmiris seen in pictures and videos with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in Shopian district were bribed, PTI reported. “You can buy anyone with money,” Azad, who is scheduled to visit Kashmir during the day, told reporters in New Delhi.
Doval on Wednesday made a quick trip to South Kashmir and was seen having lunch with local people and chatting with them on a footpath outside closed shops. The pictures and videos went viral on social media. He had arrived in the state on Tuesday to undertake supposed confidence-building measures after the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in the Union of India by abrogating provisions of Article 370.
In the video, Doval was seen standing on a deserted street, listening to seven or eight people. All the shops in the background are shut, and no one else is visible, except for a few camerapersons recording the meeting.
The Bharatiya Janata Party asked Azad to apologise and said the statement might be used by Pakistan on global forums, PTI reported. The saffron party’s national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said such remarks were expected from the “people of Pakistan” and not from a big political party.
“Ghulam Nabi Azad’s comments are unfortunate,” said Hussain. “I condemn it strongly....when the NSA visits the state and meets and eats with the people of the area, the Congress says that we have paid them money?”