J&K's Special Status Should Be Maintained: Sayeed

15 August 2015
PTI


Srinagar: J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Saturday asserted that the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir in the constitution of India should be maintained. 'There were some phases in Jammu and Kashmir which should not have happened. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and PDP support the conditions on which the state and the leadership of that time decided to join hands with India... 'Be it PDP, National Conference, Congress or other regional outfits, they want that Jammu and Kashmir should get the (special) status and identity within the Constitution of the country,' Mr. Sayeed said in his Independence Day address at Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar. The Chief Minister pointed out that the people of the state had refused to accept the two-nation theory propounded by Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah and went with the 'big country' India in 1947. 'I want to say that the two-nation theory of Mohammad Ali Jinnah was not adopted by the people of Jammu and Kashmir even before Independence. We had our own stand which was reflected in the 1938 convention at Sopore in which Muslim Conference was converted into National Conference,' he said. The Chief Minister said during the struggle for Independence, Congress and Muslim League had separate visions but the leadership and people of Jammu and Kashmir had their own stand on the post-independence scenario. 'The Congress leadership stood shoulder to shoulder in our freedom struggle against the aristocracy and imperialist forces. Resultantly, the people of the state and its leadership decided to go with the bigger country India in 1947,' he said. Mr. Sayeed also made a note of Pakistan's 'fight for political existence', even as India treads the path of prosperity over the past 70 years. 'Today we can see how democracy is flourishing in India for the past 70 years, how Indian economy is growing and how the institutions are functioning. 'There is no doubt that Pakistan is our neighbouring country but they are still fighting a battle for their political existence,' he said. The Chief Minister also recalled the role played by opposition National Conference founder Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah in putting the state on the track of development. 'In 1975, late Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah, accepting the ground reality, again took the reigns of the state to put it on the track of development like rest of the country,' he said. Underlining his biggest achievement as Chief Minister, Mr. Sayeed highlighted the opening of routes across Line of Control for travel and trade between 2002 and 2008. 'But we want this initiative not to remain limited to divided families and be extended for other purposes like pilgrim tourism as well,' he said. The Chief Minister enlisted various steps taken by the PDP-BJP coalition government since coming to power in March this year. 'We suffered a lot of damage during the floods last year but we have taken up work for reconstruction of damaged infrastructure. Resources are not a problem for me but we want to take everyone along. During the District Development Board meetings, we have sought opinion of all MLAs,' he said. Mr. Sayeed said while 900-kilometre road length will be macadamised during the current year, the work of Srinagar-Qazigund stretch of the National Highway will be completed by June next year. On the education sector, he said a process of rationalisation has been started to improve the functioning of the schools. 'Our education sector has been in a bad shape. I have come from government school ...so many officers have studied in government schools. We are focusing on improving the quality of education. Model schools equipped with latest technology and infrastructure will be set up across the state,' he added. Mr. Sayeed said his government was also focusing on creating new health facilities in all 87 assembly segments of the state to reduce the pressure on tertiary care hospitals.