Cong Says, Indira-Sheikh Accord Only Way Forward

Cong Says, Indira-Sheikh Accord Only Way Forward

5 May 2012
Kashmir Observer


Srinagar: While disassociating itself from its Lok Sabha MP, Choudary Lal Singh’s statement in which he had opposed autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir, State Congress today said that the official stand of the party was revolving around Indira–Sheikh Accord of 1975. “The official stand of Congress is that of Indira-Sheikh Accord and nothing else,” senior Congress leader and Irrigation and Flood Control Minster Taj Mohiuddin told KNS, adding that the statement made by MP, was his (Singh’s) personal opinion. Avoiding a direct reply with regard to autonomy and self rule as the possible solutions to the Kashmir issue, Taj said, “I won’t comment on these options but want to tell you that Congress is not either with autonomy nor self-rule. We have our own stand and that is the Indira-Sheikh Accord.” He however admitted that Congress had not taken any initiative for the settlement of Kashmir issue even within the ambit of the 1975 Accord, after which NC founder late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was again made Chief Minster of the state after 11 years. Taj maintained that being an alliance partner in NC-Congress collation does not mean that one should compromise on its party stand. “We are in alliance with the National Conference, but that doesn’t mean we should give up our official stand.” Taj asserted. The accord which was signed by Mirza Afzal Beigh on behalf of Jammu and Kashmir and G. Parthasarthi on behalf of Govt. of India on 13th Nov. 1974 at New Delhi states, “ The State of Jammu and Kashmir which is a constituent unit of Union Of India, shall, in its relation with the Union, continue to be governed by article 370 of the constitution of India.” According to the accord, the residuary powers of legislation shall remain with the State, however, “parliament will continue to have power to make laws relating to the prevention of the activities directed towards disclaiming, questioning or disrupting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India.” Pertinently Choudary Lal Singh, representing Congress in Lol Sabha from Jammu region had on Wednesday lashed out at its alliance partner in State, National Conference during zero hour, saying “ They are trying to divide the State. Don’t allow Jammu and Kashmir to be divided. Such alliance partners should be taken serious note of,” he had said. However Lal Singh’s emotionally charged statement did not go well with National Conference who immediately hit back and said, “Anybody who opposes autonomy was against the article 370. Congress State president Prof. Saifuddin Soz while preferring to remain tight lipped said, “The matter is with the parliament, therefore I can’t talk about it.”