A day after walking out of the Tihar Jail, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said, his first thoughts and prayers were for the people of Kashmir. “I am glad to speak to you exactly 106 days after I last spoke to you. As I stepped out and breathed the air of freedom at 8 pm last night, my first thought and prayers were for the 75-lakh people of the Kashmir Valley who have been denied their basic freedoms since August 4, 2019,” Chidambaram said.
The former finance minister said he intends to visit Jammu and Kashmir if the government allows him to do so.
Expressing concern over detaining of political leaders in Kashmir, Chidambaram said, “I am particularly concerned about the political leaders who have been detained without charges. Freedom is indivisible: if we must preserve our freedom, we must fight for their freedom.”
Three former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers – NCP’s Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar and PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti – are among the prominent Kashmiri leaders caged by the Centre on August 5.
P Chidambaram also launched a scathing, stinging attack against the Narendra Modi government over the current economic slowdown. “Even after 7 months into the fiscal year, the BJP government believes that the problems faced by the economy are cyclical. The government is wrong. It is wrong because it is clueless. It is unable to look for the obvious clues because it is stubborn and mulish in defending its catastrophic mistakes like demonetisation, flawed GST, tax terrorism, regulatory overkill, protectionism, and centralized control of decision-making in the PMO,” Chidambaram said in a brutal takedown of the Modi government.