Independent legislator of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Engineer Abdul Rasheed today said Jammu and Kashmir was not integral part of India. "Even if I am hanged I will still say Jammu and Kashmir is neither India's integral part nor Pakistan's jugular vein", Rasheed said in the House. When BJP member Ravinder Raina interrupted him saying he should know he has taken oath to protect sovereignty of Indian territory, Rasheed replied that, "even if I am hanged won't say Jammu and Kashmir is integral part of India."
Rasheed talked about Kashmir issue after he was stopped by the deputy speaker Nazir Gurazi to speak about power issue.
"Even if you send me to jail, debar me from contesting elections or hang me, it will not force me to change my stand on Kashmir. We have sacrificed about one lakh lives and can't compromise on right to self-determination", he said. "I am not against India's sovereignty and I am talking simply about Jammu and Kashmir which has become a bone of contention between India and Pakistan and Assembly has no authority to overrule UN Resolutions", he said. Over the years, Rasheed has been on forefront in taking up issues of alleged human rights violations. After the firing by the army in Handwara on April 12, Rasheed launched scathing attack on the army and supported anti-army and anti-India protests in Handwara. Even today he was demanding tabling of report about Handwara killings.Rasheed, who is MLA from Langate Handwara, has launched his own party, Awami Itihad Party (AIP).
Rasheed insists that he has always described hanging of the Parliament attack convict Muhammad Afzal Guru as travesty of justice. In February last year, Rasheed had said, Congress endorsed his stand on Guru when five legislators of State Congress to secure his vote in Rajya Sabha elections issued a statement on Afzal Guru. The Congress legislators issued a press statement saying that the hanging of Guru was a mistake and his mortal remains should be handed over his family. After the statement the independent legislator voted in favour of Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The Congress legislators made the statement on Afzal Guru on Azad's behest as Rasheed wanted statement before voting of four Rajya Sabha seats. Azad won the Rajya Sabha seat later. Rashid had elicited similar statement from the PDP before voting for the party in the council elections. Rashid also condemned arrest of SAR Geelani. In 2011, Rashid brought clemency resolution for Guru in the Assembly. But, the resolution didn't come up for debate as the Congress and BJP scuttled it. In July last year Jammu and Kashmir police detained Rasheed when he was protesting against hanging of Yakub Memon. Last year Rasheed also was first to submit a bill which called for repeal of laws that criminalizes beef sale in the state. In August 2015 Rasheed created controversy by visiting house of a militant commander Tariq Ahmad Mir, who has drowned in a rivulet while fleeing after attacking a police party.