New Delhi: He was missing from the scene of action for a long time. Many expected him to make a surprise appearance. On Monday, he resurfaced, and he did not disappoint them when he claimed that the Modi Government has turned Jammu and Kashmir into another Palestine, in what could further embarrass his own Congress Party which is already gasping for breath due to ‘multiple-organ failure’.
The irrepressible former Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have drawn lessons from their guru, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, to “crush” the Kashmiri people the way Israel crushed the Palestinians for 70 years.
In a newspaper article, he said the Modi-Shah duo created a smokescreen when they said Pakistan was ready to invade the Kashmir Valley, and then sent an additional 35,000-strong armed force in an area already teeming with a lakh army personnel.
Then, he said, thousands of Amarnath pilgrims and tourists were evacuated out of the Valley, 400 shopkeepers detained, economic life was crippled, and communications suspended, making Srinagar and other cities ghost towns.
He said the Kashmiris had evicted Pakistani infiltrators when Julfiqar Ali Bhutto had sent invaders under the Operation Jibralter during the India-Pakistan War of 1965. But the Kashmiris wonder now what kind of an azadi had been imposed on them now.
It is going to be a long, dark night in the Valley and the same could be repeated in other states as well.