Former Pakistan envoy says he was expecting abrogation of Article 370 by BJP

WION Web Team New Delhi Aug 06, 2019, 09.56 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

Former Pakistan Envoy to India Abdul Basit. Photograph:( WION )

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Speaking to WION from Pakistan, he said when he was in India as the Pakistan envoy he had discussed the issue with Indian authorities including BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav. 

Former Pakistan Envoy to India, Abdul Basit has said that he was expecting BJP led govt to abrogate article 370 which granted special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Speaking to WION's Sidhant Sibal from Pakistan, he said when he was in India as the Pakistan envoy he had discussed the issue with Indian authorities including BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav. 

Here is the full interview:

WION: Did you saw the abrogation of article 370 coming?

Abdul Basit: definitely. as you remember in 2014, it was part of the BJP election manifesto and then this year election BJP was very clear that they would work towards the repealing both articles 35 A and 370. So, at least I am not surprised and I have been discussing this with my government as well as informally with Indian authorities. And I am not surprised as a matter of fact.

WION: When you were the high commissioner of India, did you at any time discussed it with Indian officials?

Abdul Basit: I have discussed, many times but informally I would say with Indian officials that there can be serious implications if these articles are abolished. I do remember especially discussing with BJP general secretary Ram Madhav. That was before elections in Jammu and Kashmir. That was on October 24 2014 that I met him and we had a detailed discussion as to how to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. I do remember because I have notes with me. We also discussed the articles and he was emphatic about it and I responded to them that even if you move unilaterally on these things, the dispute will be there. There are UNSC resolutions and both countries are committed to working out a solution following the aspirations of people of J&K. So we had those discussions and he presented his views and I articulated our position on J&K and we said goodbye to each other amicably.

WION: Did Pakistan anticipated such action by India?

Abdul Basit: We will never accept this unilateral decision and as I am sure you must have heard what MP Manish Tiwari Sahib has said (in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday) that this is against Indian constitution and this is illegal and then there are United Nations security council resolutions. Indians themselves have been saying so that they are committed to resolving this issue bilaterally as recently..your external affairs minister met secretary Pompeo. So this whole exercise is in conflict with the Indian constitution, with aspirations of the people of J&K, with UNSC resolutions. India cannot be content with such unilateral steps and no one will accept them.

WION: Is there a sense of shock in Pakistan?

Abdul Basit: There is a sense of outrage in Pakistan. People are disturbed by unilateral steps with Indian govt, people are not happy and we are seeing more problems to come. There will be more problems. India has closed any possibility of a bilateral dialogue on Kashmir and we will seek UN Mediation on this because if India has acted against its own long-held bilateral position on J&K. Pakistan has no avenue but to go to the UN or other countries to seek mediation.