Under attack over his controversial statement, senior ruling National Conference leader Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday claimed his remarks have been taken out of context and misconstrued and regretted he was being called "anti-Indian".
"The impression given by media of me (of being anti- national) is totally wrong... my statement to public has been misconstrued... it has been torn out of context," he told reporters here on Wednesday.
Accusing India of having rejected a no-war pact with Pakistan and the army of being a hurdle in the return of peace in Jammu and Kashmir, the Additional General Secretary of ruling National Conference had said on Sunday that if India continued its stubborn attitude, "it will be our biggest enemy."
Kamal, who is the brother of Union Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah and uncle of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, had said, "If India will remain stubborn on the issue, it is not difficult to say that India is our enemy and Pakistan is not our enemy".
His press conference came close on the heels of a statement by Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who has asked the National Conference to clear its stand on the statement of Kamal.
The minister criticised Kamal's "anti-Indian remarks", saying this is a serious issue. "This is not the first time that this gentleman (Kamal) has been giving statements like this," Azad said last night.
"He has crossed all the limits...which is not acceptable and more so I was surprised NC gave no reply on this...It shows that there is total silence on the part of NC leadership, they are in agreement with it," he said.
Azad said it is high time that NC cleared its stand on the issue.
Kamal responded, saying, "I am pained and hurt that the media has projected me as an anti-national and accused me of sedition. It hurts me, it saddens me," he said.
"No one is a better Indian than us (Sheikh family)... Please do not project me in bad light," he said.
"I am part of the Sheikh (Sheikh Mohmmad Abdullah) family, which played an important role in bringing democracy in J&K and facilitated joining of J&K with Indian union," he said, adding that this organisation (NC) did ground work for it and laid foundation, and today it is under attack.