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Article 370 Abrogation wasn’t Needed as 99℅ laws were Already operational in Kashmir: Kapil Sibal

Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal recently asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was unnecessary as most Indian laws were already in force in Kashmir. Speaking at the launch of the book ‘Covert: The Psychology of War and Peace’ by A S Dulat, Asad Durrani, and Neil K Aggarwal, Sibal emphasized that the decision was politically motivated rather than legally required.

Sibal, who had argued against the scrapping of Article 370 in the Supreme Court, claimed that 99 percent of Indian laws were already operational in Kashmir prior to the abrogation. He argued that the government’s move was more about making a political statement rather than addressing any legal gaps.

Reflecting on the implications of this decision, Sibal noted the uncertainty it has created in Kashmir. He pointed out that despite assurances from the Home Minister in 2019 about holding elections once stability was achieved, no assembly elections have been held in Kashmir since then.

Sibal suggested that the reluctance to hold elections might stem from the unpredictable outcomes such elections could bring. He indicated that the government might avoid elections to prevent potential political risks and maintain the current status quo.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Farooq Abdullah, echoed some of Sibal’s sentiments, highlighting the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. He emphasized the need for both countries to end hostilities and work towards peace, stressing the human cost of the prolonged conflict.

Abdullah also criticized the current government for creating societal divisions, expressing his disappointment as a Muslim with the state of the country. He recounted a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi post-abrogation, where mutual distrust was evident.

The book launch provided a platform for both Sibal and Abdullah to discuss broader issues related to peace and conflict. They argued that achieving peace often comes with significant political costs, which those in power are reluctant to bear.

In conclusion, both leaders stressed the need for a reassessment of the current approach towards Kashmir and a move towards genuine peace-building efforts. The event underscored the complex interplay between politics, law, and the human impact of prolonged conflict in the region.

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