Modi critic Shehla Rashid takes a U-turn on Kashmir, praises Centre for improved situation in J&K

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Live Mint

Shehla Rashid has surprised many by offering praise to the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre and the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu & Kashmir for their efforts in improving the human rights situation in the region. This unexpected commendation was delivered by the human rights advocate on August 15, marking a significant departure from her previous criticisms of the government’s actions in Jammu & Kashmir.

Taking to the X platform (formerly known as Twitter), Rashid expressed her approval of the clear stance taken by both the Modi government and the J&K administration, which she believes has contributed to the preservation of lives.

“However inconvenient it may be to admit this, the human rights record in Kashmir has improved under the @narendramodi government and @OfficeOfLGJandK administration. By a purely utilitarian calculus, the govt’s clear stance has helped save lives overall. That’s my angle,” Shehla wrote on X.

Shehla Rashid has been a vocal critic of the Modi government’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomous status on August 5, 2019, as well as its subsequent division into two Union territories.

Despite her initial involvement, the former vice-president of the JNU Students’ Union later withdrew her name from the list of petitioners.

Rayees Matto interview

Shehla’s commendation coincided with her sharing of an interview featuring Rayees Matto, the brother of Hizbul terrorist Javid Matto. This interview emerged following the circulation of a widely-shared video depicting Rayees proudly displaying the Indian national flag from the window of his residence.

During the interview, Rayees Matto conveyed his sentiments, saying that he had waved the Tiranga from his heart and there had been no pressure from anyone.

In his discussion with the news agency ANI, he further elaborated, “There is development. For the first time I am sitting at my shop on 14th August, it used to be shut for 2-3 days. The previous political parties were playing games…My brother became one (a terrorist) in 2009, we don’t know anything about him after that…If he is alive, I urge him to come back.”

“The situation has changed, Pakistan can’t do anything…Hum Hindustani theyy, hain aur rahenge (We’re Indians. We always were and always will be,” he added.

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