Kerala legislator K T Jaleel has withdrawn his controversial Facebook post wherein he used the terms 'Indian-Occupied Kashmir' and 'Azad Kashmir', thereby inviting a flurry of opposition over the apparently anti-national references. The retreat follows soon after his bid to defend the usage by implying it was not his view.
The former minister said his statement was misinterpreted.
Jaleel who is on a tour to northern parts of the country on Saturday defended his use of term 'Indian-occupied Kashmir' and 'Azad Kashmir' in a social media post on his trips.
The former State Minister had triggered a row on Friday by terming Jammu and Kashmir as ‘India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir’ and referring to Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir' as 'Azad Kashmir'.
Defending himself Jaleel said he had written Azad Kashmir in double inverted commas. In other words, Jaleel implied it was not his view.
Taking to social media, he also said, "I only pity those who do not understand what they (double inverted commas) mean".
[Double quotation marks (“ ”) are used around a direct quote, which is a word-for-word report of what someone else said or wrote. ]
Meanwhile, the CPM-backed legislator didn't clarify on the usage ‘Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir’.
Jaleel explained about the remark in his new post on his Kashmir trip on the social media platform. The explanation appeared as a tail-piece towards the end of his detailed travel post.
Kashmir is a hot-button topic for both India and arh-rival Pakistan since the birth of the countries amidst a bloody partition 75 years ago.
What Jaleel wrote
The controversial references were in a relatively long post elaborating on the socio-political and historical aspects of Jammu and Kashmir.
In the post, he had said, “Jammu, Kashmir Valley and Ladakh form the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The part of Kashmir annexed to Pakistan is known as ‘Azad Kashmir’.
The Pakistan Government does not have direct control over this region. Only the currency and the Defence here are under the Pak Government's control. Azad Kashmir even had its own Defence forces.
During the times of Pakistan President Zia-ul-Haq , the unified forces became the common forces of Azad Kashmir. In short, the Pakistan Government does not have administrative powers in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.”
Many including the BJP leaders came up against Jaleel’s remarks in the post. Union Minister for the State V Muraleedharan and BJP state president K Surendran slammed Jaleel. BJP spokesperson Sandeep Warrier said Jaleel is praising the Pakistan Government for its ‘minimal intervention’ in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.