Opposition For Self-rule, PP Wants 3 CMs

Opposition For Self-rule, PP Wants 3 CMs

1 March 2011
Rising Kashmir
Shabir Dar

Jammu: The Legislative Assembly Tuesday witnessed animated debate over Kashmir issue. While Peoples Democratic Party and National Conference termed their respective proposals of self-rule and autonomy as the best solution for the longstanding dispute, National Panthers Party demanded three Chief Ministers for three regions of the state. Bhartiya Janta Party went to the extent of terming the dispute as “Islamic fundamentalism.” Speaking during the motion of thanks on Governor N N Vohra’s address in the Legislative Assembly, PDP president Mahbooba Mufti said it was high time for revocation of Disturbed Areas Act and Armed Forces Special Power Act from Jammu and Kashmir and asked all the political parties to work together for lifting “the siege of fear and harassment over Kashmir”.“There is a need to change the thought process on Kashmir and all the political stakeholders of the state have to make pledge in this regard,” said Mahbooba, adding that PDP’s self-rule formula could be the best solution. “I have already said that the security forces need to be given an honourable exit. The time has come to revoke DAA, AFSPA and to release youth from jails and political prisoners from detention centers.” Mahbooba added that one of the important points of the eight-point package announced by GoI during the summer unrest in Kashmir was to release political prisoners. “But tell me how many people you have released,” she asked the government in a sarcastic tone. “Most of the youth are not sleeping in the homes because police is raiding their houses during night to pick them up and detain them under harsh acts.” Meanwhile, Panther’s Party legislator Balwant Singh Mankotia said the only solution to Kashmir issue is to give equal treatment on developmental front to three regions of the state by making three separate Assemblies and three separate Chief Ministers. “This could be the only possible solution and you will see this formula would be adopted in the end,” he said. Senior BJP leader Ashok Khajuria denounced the Kashmir issue as result of “Islamic fundamentalism” saying it is a communal problem not a political one. “Some political parties for their vested interests are highlighting the issue being a political one. It is nothing but a communal problem and a result of Islamic fundamentalism. Until it is not crushed with iron hand, voices of secession, autonomy and self rule will continue to rise,” he said. Senior NC leader Mustafa Kamal said that autonomy is the only solution to Kashmir issue which addresses all dimensions of the issue. “Autonomy is the only solution. I hope the recommendations of interlocutors and working groups will be on the same lines,” he said, adding “I hope something will come out in 2011.” Stressing the need to make Kashmir a free-economic zone, PDP president said strategic position will make Jammu and Kashmir as an economic hub of South Asia. “We should open all roads to connect Jammu and Kashmir with all the neighbouring South Asian and Central Asian countries. This way only we can benefit from our strategic location,” Mahbooba said, adding that the inter-regional connectivity too should go hand in hand. She also demanded renegotiation of water agreement with New Delhi under Indus Water Treaty. “What petrol is for Arab Countries, water is for Jammu and Kashmir? So we need to renegotiate the water agreement with the GoI.” Taking on the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for his approach in tackling the situation in Kashmir, PDP chief said that on one hand the CM is labeling the stone throwing youth of Kashmir as agents of LeT and ISI while in an interview to a news channel last day he said that youth of Kashmir picked up guns for political solution of Kashmir issue and not for bijli, pani and sadak. The opposition leader accused the government of creating “false impression” that something was going to happen in the coming summer. “Nothing can happen unless the government foments the trouble,” she said. Criticizing the Governor’s address he made to the joint house of the assembly, Mahbooba said “it was nothing but the extension of paid advertisement.” “Governor’s speech is outdated.”


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