January 2016 News

PoK President Invites Separatists And Pro-India Leaders To Conference On Kashmir

14 January 2016
India Today
Naseer Ganai

Srinagar: President of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir Sardar Muhammad Yaqub Khan has extended invitations to both separatists and pro-India leaders to attend a two-day round-table conference to discuss issues related to Kashmir in the Pakistani capital Islamabad. The conference is scheduled to begin on January 20 at the Convention Centre, Islamabad. The agenda for discussion includes the Kashmir conflict, its ramifications for Indo-Pak relations and peace, Hindutva and the emergence of Hindu extremism in India, and the proposed abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A of the Indian Constitution and its impact on Kashmir dispute. Delhi-based NGO We The Citizens, through its president Sandeep Kulkarni, filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging Article 35 (A). The petition argues that Article 35 (A) was added to the Constitution of India through an executive order in 1954 without knowledge of Parliament. An RSS-backed think tank known as Jammu & Kashmir Study Centre first came up with the idea to target Article 35 (A) to further erode Article370 of the Constitution, which gives J&K special status. Separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Aga Syed Hasan, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash and others are invited for the conference. However, the majority of them do not have passports. Mainstream politicians including MLA Engineer Rasheed and MLA Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami have also received invitations.