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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

NC stresses on autonomy, dialogue with Pakistan and Hurriyat
Working Committee concerned over ‘systematic erosion of CM’s institution’
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, Nov 9: Principal opposition party National Conference on Monday expressed concern over what it called “systematic erosion of the institution of the Chief Minister” while pledging to continue struggle for greater autonomy and demanding resumption of New Delhi’s dialogue with Islamabad and the Kashmiri separatists.
NC’s all-important Working Committee meeting, attended by almost all the members and special invitees, was presided over by the party’s President and former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah at his residence. After speeches and discussions, it passed six resolutions.
Working President and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was exceptionally critical of the way Prime Minister Narendra Modi had ‘embarrassed’ his host of Saturday’s Srinagar rally and Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed by saying ‘arrogantly’ in his speech that he did not need anybody’s advice or analysis on Jammu and Kashmir. According to Omar it was “indicative of the systematic erosion of the institution of the Chief Minister”. “Despite his unending praise of the RSS and BJP, Chief Minister stands discredited and snubbed by his own ally”, he asserted.
Omar’s views were encapsulated in one of the six resolutions passed by the meeting at its conclusion.
Struggle for Autonomy
One of the political resolutions said that the NC reiterates that “restoration of the State’s Autonomy forms the bedrock of the party’s political agenda”.
“The party is committed to upholding the political dignity and rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. While the party passed the Autonomy Resolution with two-thirds majority in 2000, we will continue to struggle for this goal in the future with vigour and sincerity of purpose. While the party has put forth the restoration of Autonomy as a viable and credible solution to the political issue, the party welcomes those alternative methods of resolution that would be acceptable to the people of the State and would address their political aspirations”, said the significant resolution.
Dialogue with Pakistan
The meeting observed that the Kashmir issue had both internal as well as external dimensions which need to be addressed for sustained peace in the region and within the State. “To address the external dimensions, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference unanimously resolves the demand for restoration of a sustained and comprehensive dialogue between India and Pakistan without any further delay. Efforts should be undertaken to increase the level of confidence between the two countries in order to initiate a process to resolve all outstanding issues including the Kashmir Issue which has been a source of confrontation and hostility in the sub-continent”, said another resolution.
It added: “To address the internal dimensions, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference resolves the demand for the opening of dialogue by the Central Government with all internal stakeholders including the Separatist Leadership. Any proposed resolution of the Kashmir Issue shall be to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.”
Concern over intolerance
NC pledged its commitment to upholding pluralistic and secular ethos of the State and protecting the rights and liberties of people living in all the three regions of the State. It also expressed concern over recent incidents of intolerance and radicalism and “concerted efforts to polarize the State on communal and regional lines”. It asserted that recent incidents from Dadri to Udhampur had “hurt the secular fabric of the country” and these were aimed at disrupting communal harmony and amity.
“Jammu and Kashmir has demonstrated its commitment to the values of tolerance and religious harmony and the people of the State will never allow vested interests to sow seeds of discord and animosity. The State’s legacy of pluralism and secularism has enabled it to face serious challenged in the past and steer the State out of difficult circumstances”, said another resolution.
“However, the vested interests of the Central Government and the State Government in dividing the people on the basis of region and religion threaten these long-affirmed values and ideals. The Working Committee resolves the people of Jammu and Kashmir should be united in defeating all such nefarious designs and divisive forces”, it added.
One of the resolution said that the NC was disappointed over the way relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims has been handled. “The Honourable Prime Minister of India had promised all support to the flood victims based on which the NC-Congress Government of the day projected a realistic demand of Rs. 44,000 crores as a comprehensive Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Package. International agencies have termed the 2014 Jammu and Kashmir floods as the most economically devastating natural disaster of 2014 in the entire world. In light of this, the paltry relief released by the Government of India is tantamount to rubbing salt in the gaping wounds of the flood victims”, it added.

[Published in Tuesday's STATE TIMES]

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