Karan Singh, Congress leader and son of Maharaja Hari Singh, on Thursday said he does not agree with a blanket condemnation of the Centre’s decision to end special status for Jammu and Kashmir and split it into two union territories, ANI reported. Maharaja Hari Singh was the last ruler of the state who acceded to the Union of India.

In a statement issued, Singh said: “Personally I do not agree with a blanket condemnation of these developments. There are several positive points.”

“Ladakh’s emergence as a Union Territory is to be welcomed,” he said. “The gender discrimination in Article 35A needed to be addressed as also the long-awaited enfranchisement of lakhs of West Pakistani refugees and reservations for Scheduled Tribes which will be welcomed.” He added the decision will also ensure a fair division of political power between the Jammu and Kashmir regions.

However, he urged the government to release the jailed Kashmiri politicians. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were formally arrested on Monday, a day after they were placed under house arrest. National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday said he was also under house arrest.

Karan Singh suggested that political dialogue should be initiated with them.

“At all costs communal harmony should be maintained and violence eschewed,” Singh said in his statement. “The effort should be that Jammu and Kashmir attains full Statehood as soon as possible so that its people can at least enjoy the political rights available to the rest of the country.”

Chidambaram condemns Centre’s ‘muscular nationalism’

Meanwhile, Congress MP and former Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday attacked the government over its decision to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir and asked if “muscular nationalism” has resolved any conflict in the world.

The Rajya Sabha on Monday adopted the resolution revoking Article 370 of the Constitution. The Upper House of Parliament also passed a bill to split the state into two Union territories – one, Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and the other, Ladakh, without one. The Lok Sabha passed it on Tuesday.

Chidambaram also referred to Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement President Shah Faesal’s comments on the situation in the Valley as one of “unprecedented horror”.

“Shah Faesal came first in the Civil Services Examination and joined the IAS. He has called the government’s actions on J&K as ‘the biggest betrayal’,” Chidambaram said in a tweet. “If Shah Faesal thinks so, imagine what millions of ordinary people of J&K think,” he added.

He then asked: “Has ‘muscular nationalism’ resolved any conflict anywhere in the world?”.

The former Indian Administrative Service officer on Tuesday said everyone is heartbroken and that history has taken a catastrophic turn for all of the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, the United Nations’ human rights agency on Wednesday said India’s decision to take away Jammu and Kashmir’s special status would lead to deterioration in the alleged human rights problem in the region.

The Congress has opposed the government’s decision, and said that political parties will fight the Centre’s move and stand with the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

However, eight Congress members voiced their support on Centre’s decision to remove special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir. Janardan Dwivedi, Deepender Hooda, Jaiveer Shergill and Mumbai Congress Chief Milind Deora, Uttar Pradesh MLA Aditi Singh, Bhubaneswar Kalita and Jyotiraditya Scindia deviated from the party’s stand.

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