"We don't want another 30 years from the past"
The Government of India was convinced that Article 370 was not good for people in Kashmir and it stood in the way of development: Foreign Minister Jaishankar
In an interview to Dutch daily evening newspaper NRC Handelsblad, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar defended his government's decision to abrogate Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir saying "We have to do something decisive". Jaishankar said that Article 370 was temporary and it had to change once. The government was convinced that the article was not good for the people in Kashmir and it stood in the way of development. Jaishankar further said that around 40,000 lives have been lost in the last 30 years in Kashmir. Without naming Pakistan, Jaishankar said that the situation in Kashmir is fueled by the conscious terrorist policy of the neighboring country.
On being asked about the current situation in Kashmir, the EAM said, "Normal life is gradually taking its course again. Shops are open, people are back on the street... The telephone lines are now open again. The internet has not yet fully recovered, because militants used social media for radicalization and mass mobilization during earlier very violent periods."
On being asked about the media reports saying people are afraid of leaving their house even after the restrictions have been relaxed, Jaishankar said that the people are afraid of intimidation by the militants. "Militants put up posters on which they threaten people so that they don't go to school and leave their stores closed," the EAM said.