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A senior leader of the Aam Aadmi Party has suggested that the issue of army presence in the Kashmir valley may be decided by a referendum of the people in the valley. The same leader had two years ago suggested a plebiscite in Jammu & Kashmir where people must be free to decide whether they wish to stay with India or otherwise.

The integration of States was handled by Sardar Patel. There was, however, one exception. Issues relating to Jammu & Kashmir were substantially decided by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. The effects of his mismanagement of Jammu & Kashmir continue to leave their impact even today. Besides the grant of separate status, the idea of the ‘wishes of the people’ being taken into consideration was a Nehruvian suggestion. The same formulation was not applicable to the other princely States which integrated into India. With great difficulty the issue of plebiscite which was internationalized by Pakistan was linked to the territory wrongfully occupied by Pakistan. Today the issue of plebiscite is no longer a part of either the international agenda, a United Nations process or even the Indo-Pak bilateral talks.

The defence of India is a subject exclusively in the Central Government’s domain. It is neither a State Subject nor a subject to be handled at the municipal level. Maintenance of India’s sovereignty is a prime responsibility of the Central Government. The prime concern of the Indian state is to protect its own sovereignty and integrity. Kashmir has been a part of unfinished agenda of Pakistan emanating from partition. Pakistan has never reconciled to Kashmir being a part of India. Its’ attempt at internationalization of the issue failed. Having been defeated in conventional wars, in the last two and a half decades it has attempted a proxy war through cross-border terrorism. This is supplemented by local terrorist modules of misguided youths.

The BJP is commited to Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s declaration that all issues would be resolved within the framework of ‘Insaniyat’. It is this philosophy which entails elimination of terrorism, dismantling of terrorist infrastructure, comfort, peace and a high quality of life to the people of Jammu & Kashmir. The de-militarisation of the valley can take place only after this object is achieved. The army presence till then is necessary to protect both the territory and the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

It is Pakistan which has been suggesting the de-militarisation of the valley. Some separatist groups have been echoing that demand. It is regrettable that for a party like the Aam Aadmi Party which nourishes national ambitions, should adopt a position hostile to India’s interests. The issues of national security cannot be decided by populism or referendum. They can only be decided on security considerations. Till such time the infrastructure of terror remains, the presence of the army in Jammu & Kashmir is essential.

This leaves me with a last thought - political parties which emerge as a transient reaction to a given situation can be non-ideological. They evolve their ideology as they grow. This can lead to both speculative and serious concerns. The ideological position of the Aam Aadmi Party on various issues is not known. It is only after the elections that initial indications coming from its leaders show that it stands for nationalization of airports and natural sources, for a soft and weak position on India’s security issues and for high subsidies which will lead to higher taxation. Symbolism rather than substance has been displayed in the last ten days. I hope sensible elements in the Party seek to reverse this position. Otherwise the slope downwards will be faster than the movement upwards.

The above blog is shared by Shri Arun Jaitley on his blog. You can read the original blog here.

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PM to visit Himachal Pradesh on 5th October
October 03, 2022
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PM to inaugurate and lay foundation stone of projects worth over Rs 3650 crore
PM to inaugurate AIIMS Bilaspur, whose foundation stone had also been laid by PM
PM to lay foundation stone of project for four laning of National Highway worth over Rs 1690 crore
Project will boost industrial development and tourism in the region
PM to lay foundation stone of Medical Device Park at Nalagarh and inaugurate Government Hydro Engineering College at Bandla
PM to participate in Kullu Dussehra celebrations

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will visit Himachal Pradesh on 5th October, 2022 where he will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of projects worth over Rs 3650 crore. At around 11:30 AM, Prime Minister will inaugurate AIIMS Bilaspur. After that, he will reach Luhnu Ground of Bilaspur at around 12:45 PM, where he will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects and also address a public function. Prime Minister will reach the Dhalpur Ground of Kullu at around 3:15 PM, where he will participate in Kullu Dussehra celebrations.

AIIMS Bilaspur

Prime Minister's vision and commitment to strengthen health services across the country is being showcased again through the inauguration of AIIMS Bilaspur. The Hospital, whose foundational stone was also laid by the Prime Minister in October 2017, is being established under the Central sector scheme Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana.

AIIMS Bilaspur, constructed at a cost of more than Rs 1470 crore, is a state-of-the-art hospital with 18 specialty & 17 super specialty departments, 18 modular operation theaters, 750 beds with 64 ICU beds. Spread over 247 acres, the hospital is equipped with 24 hours emergency and dialysis facilities, modern diagnostic machines like ultrasonography, CT scan, MRI etc, Amrit Pharmacy & Jan Aushadhi Kendra and also a 30 bedded AYUSH block. The Hospital has also set up the Centre for Digital Health to provide health services in the tribal and inaccessible tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh. Also, specialist health services will be provided by the hospital through health camps in the inaccessible tribal and high Himalayan regions like Kaza, Saluni, and Keylong. The hospital will admit 100 students for MBBS Course and 60 students for nursing courses every year.

Development projects

Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone of around 31 km long project for four laning of the National Highway from Pinjore to Nalagarh on NH-105, worth over Rs. 1690 crore. The project road is a major connecting link for the traffic from Ambala, Chandigarh, Panchkula and Solan /Shimla going towards Bilaspur, Mandi and Manali. About 18 km stretch of this four-lane national highway falls under Himachal Pradesh and the remaining portion falls in Haryana. This highway will ensure better transport facilities in Nalagarh-Baddi, the industrial hub of Himachal Pradesh, and will also give a fillip to further industrial development in the region. It will also boost tourism in the state.

Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone of the Medical Device Park at Nalagarh, which will be built at a cost of about Rs 350 crore. MoUs of more than Rs. 800 crore have already been signed for setting up industries in this Medical Device Park. The project will significantly enhance employment opportunities in the region.

Prime Minister will also inaugurate the Government Hydro Engineering College at Bandla. Costing about Rs 140 crore, the college will help make available trained manpower for hydro power projects, in which Himachal Pradesh is one of the leading states. It will help in upskilling the youth and providing ample job opportunities in the hydro power sector.

Kullu Dussehra

The International Kullu Dussehra Festival will be celebrated from 5th to 11th October 2022 at Dhalpur Ground of Kullu. The Festival is unique in the sense that it is the congregation of more than 300 Deities of the Valley. On the first day of the Festival, the Deities in their well decorated palanquins pay their obeisance at the temple of the Chief Deity Bhagwan Raghunath Ji and then proceed to the Dhalpur Ground. Prime Minister will witness this divine Rath Yatra and the grand assembly of the Deities in the historic Kullu Dussehra celebrations. It will be the first time ever that the Prime Minister of the country is participating in the Kullu Dussehra celebrations.