Kashmiris out of decision-making: Shah
Disparity loaded with social implications: Saleem
Srinagar, Nov 15: Noted legal expert and senior counsel, Zaffar Shah, Sunday said Kashmiris were facing multi-level discrimination in the government and were systematically being elbowed out of decision-making apparatus.
“Kashmiris are facing discrimination at various levels and in various forms; be it at political, social, economical or administrative levels,” Shah said addressing a one-day seminar on ‘Discrimination in Services - Kashmir Perspective’ organised by GK Foundation.
More importantly, Shah said discrimination takes place at the executive level where the decision-making takes place. “Of course discrimination doesn’t take place at class IV level. However, the patent disparity at the executive levels in the Government is the predicament for Kashmiris,” he said and added it is at this level that crucial decisions are taken and policies formulated and the presence of Kashmiris in the services at these crucial levels was declining alarmingly.
Shah said that in 1968 the former chief minister, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, had reframed the service rules and wanted the Kashmiri civil servants to be involved in decision-making at the state level rather than being inducted into IAS or IFS service. “Sheikh had said he won’t ignore the state and had announced incentives to lure officers to the state cadre,” he said.
Shah quoted several other instances where he had pleaded the cases of discrimination against Kashmiri officers before courts.
He said in 1984, he had pleaded a case of a superintendent of police who had alleged that he was not being considered for the promotion as DIG for the reason of being a Muslim. He said the court had announced the judgement in his favour but moments after the then governor, Jagmohan, had changed the SRO and thus prevented justice being done to the officer. He quoted several other instances to say that Kashmiri officials were being discriminated against.
Kashmiris, Shah said, never complained when 100 out of 100 candidates from a particular region elsewhere got selected in any exam, but if 10 out of 10 Kashmiris get selected for some posts, it is being referred to as “communal selection.”
He said there was need to review the state’s obsolete educational policy and change it as most of the youth continued to opt for the conventional subjects doing MSc and MA to end up as Rehbar-e-Taleems.
Former director general, Tourism, Muhammad Saleem Beigh, who spoke on, “Have our institutions failed us,” said: “Very few candidates were being awarded PhD and M Phil degrees at Kashmir University as compared to Jammu University despite the departments at Jammu University being established years after the Kashmir University.”
He said this was reason for lesser people from Kashmir valley appearing in competitive exams and qualifying screening tests for various posts.
Underscoring the need to depoliticise the recruiting agencies including PSC and SSB, Beigh said the former deputy chief minister, Muzaffar Hussain Baig had once at a meeting in Jammu revealed that if PSC had to recruit a low ranking officer, it members would approach the politicians asking them if they wanted someone to get appointed.
Saleem said the disparity in recruitments is not only going to have administrative implications for Kashmiris, but it has social and cultural impact as well.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Nov 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Nov 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Nov 2009 00:00:00 IST
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