National Conference wants the government to restore Jammu and Kashmir’s special status to avoid spillover of the Afghan crisis into the region

Published : August 27, 2021 15:34 IST

National Conference party MP Hasnain Masoodi (right) protesting in front of the Parliament on August 5. Photo: PTI

The National Conference (N.C.) on August 26 asked the Central government to undo its unilateral actions of August 5, 2019 in order to avert the spillover of the Afghanistan crisis into Jammu and Kashmir.

A statement to this effect was made by Hasnain Masoodi, N.C. Member of Parliament from Anantnag, in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) briefing on Afghanistan for Parliamentary floor leaders. The briefing was organised by the government to deliberate on the change of guard in Afghanistan and how the ascent of the Taliban might impact India’s geopolitics.

In its briefing the MEA said that India will go slow with the developments in Afghanistan and that the main agenda for the Indian government was to repatriate Indian nationals stuck there. The Ministry also said that the government was carefully observing the developments in Afghanistan with the main focus on ensuring the security of Indian nationals and their repatriation.

Hassnain Masoodi shared the concerns of the MPs about the fallout of the changing situation of Afghanistan on the region, particularly Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Expressing dissatisfaction over the “wait and watch” policy of the government, he said that the situation called for playing a more assertive and proactive role in order to protect its interests.

He further added that India’s policy limbo could have serious ramifications for the entire region. Referring to the fears triggered by a possible Afghanistan spillover, Masoodi said with eye on Afghanistan, the Indian government must not lose further time in revoking the decisions of August 5, 2019.

Masoodi said: “To ensure that the anticipated spillover doesn’t play out in a manner that affects peace and stability in the region, the GOI must restore August 4, 2019 position to ease out the situation and generate goodwill among the populace of JK[Jammu and Kashmir]. He also argued that the geopolitical shift that the takeover of Afghanistan has occasioned will not touch India, if timely correctives are taken vis-à-vis J&K, Ladakh.”