Don’t Challenge Sanctity Of Legislature: NC Tells Cong

Don’t Challenge Sanctity Of Legislature: NC Tells Cong

3 July 2012
Rising Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: A day after a senior Congress minister termed restoration of autonomy as a closed chapter, the ruling National Conference Tuesday asked coalition partner Congress not to challenge the sanctity of the State legislature as they too voted in favour of autonomy resolution in 2000. NC insiders said a high level meeting of party leaders was held at Nawai-Sub complex today to finalize arrangements in connection with July 11 (12th death anniversary of Begum Akbar Jehan) and July 13 (martyrs day). “The NC leaders passed a unanimous resolution in favour of restoration of autonomy. The party also passed a resolution requesting the Prime Minister to implement the recommendations of the Working Group set up by him to end political uncertainty in the state,” they said. The development comes close on the heels of senior Congress leader and minister for PHE and Irrigation, Taj Mohiudin’s statement that restoration of autonomy was a closed chapter and that there was no need to revisit the central laws extended to State since 1953. NC additional general secretary Mustafa Kamal said the statement of Congress minister was far from the truth. “If autonomy is a closed chapter, why did the leaders from Congress voted in its favour on floor of both houses of J&K legislature in 2000. Calling the same document as closed chapter amounts to challenging the sanctity of legislature,” he said. He said after Mirza Afzal Beg and G Parthasathy were appointed to work out the modalities, after which the two leaders never met to sign the 1975 agreement. “Had that been the case, the agreement would have been ratified by the Assembly and the cabinet. But nothing of that sort happened,” the NC leader said. He said if Congress still believed that everything was settled in 1975 pact, the party should come up with a proof to end the suspicion. “Let them prove Sheikh Abdullah had signed the pact. Despite Beg-Parthasarthy parleys, five things - Governor, Prime Minister, Election Commission, Auditor Comptroller General and Supreme Court were left pending,” he said. He said it (Congress) forgets that none other than the former Sadre-Riyasat, Karan Singh was the first chairman of autonomy committee. Asked what could be the reason for terming restoration of autonomy as a closed chapter by Congress, Kalam said New Delhi through its people wants to project Kashmir peace as a solution. He said New Delhi continues to adopt rigid approach on Kashmir despite the fact that Justice Saghir Committee has advocated autonomy. “Even interlocutors have strongly recommended formation of a committee to revisit all central laws extended to State since 1953. Autonomy resolution was passed with two-third majority in 2000 in State legislature”. Kamal said it is high time for New Delhi to adopt a path of reaching out to the people by endorsing the demand of National Conference. “I blame both India and Pakistan for Kashmir mess. First, India ousted Maharaja Hari Singh, who was the legal owner of Kashmir as a nation, then Pakistan raided through its tribals to capture Kashmir,” he said adding the nation was divided into two parts and this part of Kashmir continues to suffer. Joining the chorus, senior NC leader and Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Sagar said there are many ideologies - some demand plebiscite, some want Azadi, some termed Kashmir as an integral part of India but NC’s stand is clear that autonomy is the solution. “Everybody has a right to speak their point of view. The resolution has been passed in 2000, which was rejected by Government of India (GoI). But we will continue to strive hard for its implementation,” Sagar told Rising Kashmir. Evading direct reaction to Congress leader’s statement, he said, “It is good that Congress is supporting strengthening the Article 370”. Another senior NC leader and vice chairman of Legislative Council M Y Taing said by speaking against the autonomy, the Congress minister is pleading the cause of his mentors sitting in New Delhi. “This is not something new. New Delhi has time and again eroded our autonomy”. “Who eroded Article 370,” he questioned. Alleging there are some forces in New Delhi, who want Kashmiris to be deprived of their constitutional rights, Taing said, “In 1975 agreement, it was decided that the negotiation will continue to figure what Kashmir wants to retain. GoI should read the writing on the wall. Despite all its efforts so far, people are not satisfied”.