Discussing foreign affairs in Assembly not our mandate: Rather
Srinagar, Sep 27: Acknowledging that the State Government doesn’t have the mandate to discuss foreign affairs in the Assembly, Finance Minister, Abdul Rahim Rather Tuesday maintained that it couldn’t direct two sovereign Governments to implement the recent Confidence Building Measures.
“Foreign affairs are not in our domain. According to the Constitution, we shouldn’t discuss it here because it is not in our jurisdiction. What I mean is that it is not in our jurisdiction to pass direction to the Foreign Ministry to implement the CBMs. Article 370 clearly suggests the devolution of power to the Union and the State,” said Abdul Rahim Rather while replying to a query of Peoples Democratic Party MLC, Murtaza Khan in Legislative Council.
The reply came in the backdrop of Murtaza Khan’s resolution that Government of India must implement the CBMs agreed by Foreign Ministers of both India and Pakistan recently and take steps to strengthen and expand such CBMs further in a bid to resolve the long pending issue of Jammu and Kashmir issue.
“We can’t discuss the issue in legislature as we can’t direct two sovereign Governments that they must implement CBMs. We should not raise any suspicion on Pakistan or India about CBMs. Let’s wait and see. I am not against CBMs. They are must for Jammu and Kashmir as it has benefited a lot,” Rather added.
While opposing the resolution, he appealed to the Deputy Chairman not to accept it as it doesn’t fall under their jurisdiction. His point of view was supported by National Conference MLC, Sheikh Ghulam Rasool. “Though we share same anxiety, but such resolution can’t be passed in the House.”
Highlighting the importance of the issue, Murtaza said CBMs should be implemented as such resolutions had been discussed earlier as well.
Questioning Rather for his comments, he said “When Autonomy resolution was discussed was it in the jurisdiction of the House?”
“CBMs announced by the Government of India should be implemented. I am not dictating anything to the Foreign Ministry, but asking for recommendation and consensus about their implementation on which decision has been already been taken recently,” he said
The people of Kashmir, he said would appreciate the measures if they were given more freedom in terms of increased travel and trade through the Line of Control.
“Youth should be allowed to visit and trade in China, Iran and other places. Before the opening the cross LoC routes, it was said that militants, Hawala money and arms will be brought through these routes, but nothing of that sort happened. It only improved the perceptions of people from both the sides of Kashmir about each other.”
Supporting the move, PDP MLC, Syed Asgar Ali said the recommendation by the State legislature would strengthen the ground for implementation of CBMs. “We should not stuck ourselves in must or should. What is important for the people of the state that these CBM should be implemented forthwith,” he said.
After putting the resolution to voting, Deputy Chairman Arvinder Singh Mickey dropped it saying “The motion is dropped as majority of the MLCs are against it.”
Lastupdate on : Tue, 27 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 27 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 28 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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