PDP releases "Self-rule" document on Kashmir

While letting suspense linger over its participation in the November Assembly polls and even dropping hints about a boycott, the People’s Democratic Party formally unveiled its “self-rule” document as an opening gambit. It calls for a radical redefinition of Kashmir’s relations with New Delhi against a framework involving Pakistan. At a press conference , PDP’s patron and former J-K chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed deftly manoeuvred his way through the semantics of the standard separatist rhetoric. He talked of former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, self-rule, Constitutional restructuring, dual currency, roll-back of Central laws, an elected Governor, even renaming of the titles of Governor and Chief minister as Sadar-i-riyasat (President) and the Prime Minister respectively.
“Kashmir enjoys a special position in India’s Constitution as per the terms of the state’s accession. We have a separate Constitution and a separate flag,” Sayeed said. “We want this special status to be strengthened. We want that the President of India should have no authority to dissolve Kashmir Assembly.We want an elected governor who is a state subject”.
“Such an arrangement is the remedy for the problems of the state,” he said. He said that Kashmiris were reeling under a siege mentality for the past 60 years and suffering for no fault of theirs.He hailed the re-opening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalkote roads as historic steps. “But we want the process not to stop there. We want a phased economic integration of the state that transcends borders,” Sayeed said. He reiterated his call for dual currency, saying Indian and Pakistani rupees should be the medium of exchange in J&K. “This has to be done if we want the Line of Control to flourish”. He also talked in detail on the specifics of cross-border institutions, an overarching regional J-K council in an echo of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s proposal of joint consultative mechanism between the two Kashmirs. “The centrepiece of the governance structure under self-rule is the cross-border institution of Regional Council of Greater Jammu and Kashmir. This council will replace the existing Upper House of the Legislative Council,” Sayeed said. The regional council, he said, will have members from “J&K and Pakistan-administered Kashmir,” as well as the nominees of the Government of India and Pakistan. Sayeed, in a move fraught with controversy, sought the rollback of Article 356, Article 249, Sixth amendment of the constitution, Article 368 and article 312 as they apply to J-K.

No comments: