PDP leader and Padma Bhushan awardee Muzaffar Hussain Baig

New Delhi: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) co-founder Muzaffar Hussain Baig, whose name last night was announced for the prestigious Padma Bhushan awards, on Sunday remarked that the award was actually conferred on the people of Jammu and Kashmir, adding that both Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump had accepted that J&K was ‘an integral part of India.’

The former Baramulla Lok Sabha MP has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third-highest civilian award, for his ‘contribution to public affairs.’ He is among 16 individuals whose names have been announced for the honour.

Speaking to news agency ANI on a day the country is celebrating its 71st Republic Day, Baig said, “This award has not been conferred upon me but it is for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Notably, this is the first Republic Day after the government, on August 5 last year, revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and also split it into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Remarking that ‘there can never be any referendum in J&K,’ Baig added, “Pakistan PM Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump are asking for autonomy to J&K. It means they’ve accepted that it is an integral part of India. We demand that J&K should be given what the Constitution gives us. ”

Notably, Baig is among a handful of Valley politicians to have not been put under detention by the Centre in the wake of its August 5 move. Three former Chief Ministers, including Baig’s PDP colleague Mehbooba Mufti and the father-son duo of Farooq and Omar Abdullah, have been under detention since August 5.

On the occasion of Republic Day, the government had yesterday announced a list of 141 names for the prestigious Padma Awards. While seven names were announced for the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award, 118 names were announced for the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian honour.