Justifying Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to abrogate Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said that Kashmir's autonomy ultimately served only a small elite.
In an interview to Germany's Der Spiegel Online, Jaishankar said that the government decided to snap telephone and Internet network in Jammu and Kashmir after abrogating Article 370 on Augutst 5, 2019, because the terrorists would have used telephone and Internet to communicate with each other and unleash mayhem in the region.
When asked how does the government want to improve the situation in Kashmir, Jaishankar said that Article 370 had prevented many of India's progressive laws from coming into force in the region and with the abrogation of Article 370, the region will soon witness investments in different sectors.
"Investments did not materialize. There were too few jobs. The lack of progress led to alienation and separatism, which in turn fed terrorism. Also, bear in mind that there are vested interests out there that want to fight us," he said.
Jaishankar said that Article 370 was a temporary provision in the Indian Constitution but the majority of Western media failed to acknowledge this fact and this was only because they were unwilling to accept the truth.
Talking about the government's decision to place former Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah under house arrest, the External Affairs Minister said that the government did not want the politicians to engage in any activities that could spark unrest in the region in the wake of abrogation of Article 370. He stressed that the Centre was focused on preventing the loss of life.
Launching a direct attack on Pakistan, Jaishankar said that Islamabad openly runs a terrorist industry and the global community knows Pakistan's love for terrorists. The External Affairs Minister also took a dig at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and said that he deserves credit for acknowledging the fact that Pakistan has been the safe haven for terrorists for decades.