Kashmir Traders Threaten Agitation If Package Not Redesigned

16 November 2015
Kashmir Observer


Srinagar: Kashmir traders Monday threatened to launch an agitation if the central government does not redesign the package which as per them is aimed at 'trifurcation of state on communal lines'. Terming the Rs 80,000 Crore development package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 7 as a 'deep rooted conspiracy' against the Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir, the Kashmir Economic Alliance (K) Chairperson Muhammad Yasin Khan Monday said the funding aims at nothing but 'trifurcation of state on communal lines'. Threatening to launch a mass movement if New Delhi fails to 'redesign the package in accordance with ground requirements for economic upliftment of the trouble torn state', Khan said, 'the breakup of package clearly shows that the lion's share in development has been given to regions of Jammu and Ladakh, which have less domination of Muslims.' 'In the name of development, mere Rs 6,500 Crore are being given to Kashmir province whereas Rs 13,000 Crore have been given to Ladakh and Rs 11,000 Crore to Jammu province,' Khan said, adding, 'Kashmir is being given peanuts whereas there's no mention of package for the other Muslim dominated regions of the state including Chenab Valley and Poonch and Rajouri areas.' He said in the name of development of road connectivity instead of the interests of the people of Kashmir region, the move is 'serving the interests of Army and Yatra'. 'Ski resorts like Gulmarg elsewhere in the world prefer to have pony tracks but in Gulmarg the major road network is being constructed in the picturesque Valley high up to mountains only to benefit the interests of defence forces who want to strengthen their dominance in the region where they already occupy lot of land,' Khan said. 'If road to Pahalgam or Sonamarg is being improved it's only for the sake of Yatra. Whereas the fact is that the interests of Kashmir particularly with regard to promotion of trade and commerce have been out-rightly ignored in the so called development package,' Khan added. 'Instead of any efforts for revival of trade with Muzaffarbad and the central Asia via traditional Silk Route, the road network between Ladakh and Himachal is being strengthened through tunnels and highways. Likewise, as per the package, instead of construction of much-needed Doda-Kapran road and Vailoo tunnel which would connect us to Chenab Valley, road networks of strategic communal importance are being developed,' Khan said. Khan, however, clarified the Kashmir Inc was not against people of other religions or regions. 'We have a history of having lived in harmony with our Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh brothers and want to uphold the same love and amity. But our point is that the package has been designed so that it aims at eroding the secular fabric of the state and will end up in the trifurcation of the state,' Khan said. 'During the LAHDC electioneering, the BJP leaders had been speaking of giving a Union Territory status to the Ladakh region and now around Rs 13,000 Crore are being spend on development of road network with Himachal Pradesh. Why should a package meant of J&K benefit Himachal?' Khan questioned. Referring to the announcement that only Rs 2,000 Crore were meant for the flood hit people, Khan said the refugees and flood victims have been 'treated equally' because same Rs 2000 Cr package has been announced for them as well. 'The government seems to be hell bent to keep the Kashmiri people suppressed post floods that's why only Rs 800 Crore have been earmarked for the so called rehab, whereas in actuality September floods destroyed Kashmir economy to the tune of Rs One Lakh Crore,' Khan said adding, 'over 50,000 number of shops were destroyed by floods, no shopkeeper would beyond Rs 16,000 as rehab money.' 'Same injustice holds true for the horticulture, agriculture and allied sectors equally affected by floods,' Khan complained. The KEA Chairperson, however, clarified that this organization would not 'restrict its concern to condemnations but fight for the cause through all possible means' till each and every flood affected businessman is rehabilitated with dignity. 'We are working on this all,' Khan said. 'We'll soon announce future strategy.' 'The recent package has vindicated the view point that PDP was party to the RSS plan of trifurcation of the state where god forbid Jammu will be a separate state, Ladakh a union territory and Kashmir a concentration camp. By having joined hands with the communal forces and having hailed the package, the PDP led state government has helped the right-wing forces in taking a step forward towards the trifurcation of the state. The power hungry PDP owes an explanation,' Khan alleged. Giving an ultimatum to the state and the New Delhi to 'reshape the package in accordance with the needs', Khan said, 'Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir were being forced to launch a massive agitation.' 'We will launch a mass agitation where people of regions like Chenab Valley will also be taken on-board and the torch of this new movement will be given in the hands of youth, because the present conspiracy aims at spoiling the future of our youth, and this we won't let happen,' Khan said.

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