Soz For Autonomy To JK28 December 2010
Srinagar: The UPA government will never compromise on the autonomy of Kashmir, but would rather like to give more autonomy to the state, a senior member of Congress Working Committee said here on Tuesday. Addressing a rally organized by state Pradesh Congress Committee, Satyavrat Chaturvedi said, “Whether Congress party is in power or outside power, we will never compromise on the autonomy given to Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. Lashing out at BJP for demanding revocation of Article 370, he said, “Article 370 is not only applicable in Jammu and Kashmir, but in few other states on the borders of the country. Can BJP seek revocation of Article 370 and Article 371 applicable in these states also?” He added that during the six years of NDA rule, BJP never raised any issue about the autonomy of the state. Chaturvedi, also a Member of Parliament, said Congress would keep its election promise of granting three regional councils with autonomous powers to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Speaking on the occasion, state PCC chief, Saifuddin Soz said Article 370, which provides constitutional guarantee to the state, would be safeguarded by Congress party at any cost. “Article 370 is a gift given to the state by Congress at the time of accession, so nobody can snatch it from people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. Soz expressed hope that the three interlocutors appointed by New Delhi would break the deadlock on Kashmir issue by coming out with a solution acceptable to people of all the three regions of the state. “Whatever, formula they (interlocutors) provide will be within the parameters of Indian constitution,” he said, adding the interlocutors want to strengthen the process of dialogue with all the stakeholders and Congress party would facilitate it. “Every issue would be solved through dialogue. And I hope the interlocutors will help in finding a solution to Kashmir issue,” he said. Soz said the issues of Pakistani refugees settled in various parts of Jammu would be resolved soon as Home Minister P Chidambaram has assured the state Congress his full support in this regard. “I have taken the issue of granting the state subject status to the refugees of West Pakistan and Pakistan administered Kashmir with Home Minister, who promised his help in resolving all the pending issues of the refugees. I will take the issue of the refugees in the coordination committee meeting of the state government also,” Soz said. He added that the home minister would be visiting Jammu in the coming days.