Congress failed to capitalise on 1971 war victory: Advani

LK Advani

Senior BJP leader LK Advani on Sunday accused Congress party of having failed to capitalise on the victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, saying that it resulted in Pakistan exporting "cross-border terrorism" and "religious extremism".

He also said while Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as Home Minister was successful in securing the integration of all 561 princely states into the Indian Union, the country on the other hand paid an "incalculable price" for Jawaharlal Nehru's failure to settle the Kashmir issue in India's favour during partition. "Article 370 in the Indian Constitution, which Pandit Nehru himself had declared to be a temporary provision, has still not been abrogated. As a result, secessionist forces in Kashmir, aided and instigated by the anti-India establishment in Pakistan, continue to feel emboldened to carry out their poisonous propaganda that J&K's accession to India is not final and that Kashmir, in particular, is not a part of India," he wrote in his blog.

Advani observed that neither the Nehru government in New Delhi nor the Shaikh Abdullah government in Srinagar believed that J&K needed to be fully integrated into the Indian Union.

India frittered away a second big opportunity to settle the Kashmir issue once and for all in the 1971 India-Pak war, in which Pakistan was not only roundly defeated but India had as many as 90,000 Pakistani PoWs. "Hence, our countrymen should know that the Kashmir problem is Nehru family's special gift to the nation," he said.

The consequences are Pakistan's export of cross-border terrorism into the country, export of religious extremism, the loss of thousand of lives of security personnel and civilians, crores of rupees being spent on defence and an opportunity for external powers to fish in troubled waters of India-Pakistan relations, he said.

Lauding the "visionary" Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, who could foreseen the consequences of placing J&K, in a "separate and tenuous Constitutional relationship", he said it was a shame that the leader's martyrdom and sacrifice is not beingtaught in schools and colleges.

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