NC, Cong at variance on autonomy, 1975 accord

Have Sought Another Extension For CSC: Rather

SAGHIR COMMITTEE REPORT

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Dec 26: Finance Minister Abdur Rahim Rather Wednesday said that while National Conference (NC) and Congress have evolved consensus over various issues highlighted by Justice Saghir panel, autonomy and 1975 accord continue to be bone of contention between the two parties.
He said the Saghir panel, mandated to make recommendations on issues pertaining to Centre-State relations, has referred to around 20 areas.
Rather said the Cabinet Sub-Committee (CSC) headed by him studying the recommendations of Saghir panel has sought seventh extension to deliberate on the “contentious” issues.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, the Finance Minister said NC and Congress have already discussed many issues highlighted in the report. “The Saghir panel report deals with at least 20 crucial issues including autonomy. Some issues if implemented on ground can have great political ramifications,” Rather said. “We are going slowly and seriously over the recommendations and that’s why we have sought another extension for the Cabinet Sub-Committee.”
This will be the seventh extension for CSC since it was formed by the state government in January 2010. With Finance Minister as its Chairman, CSC comprises eight members — four from NC and four from the Congress. “We are sure about another extension as we haven’t discussed the issues like autonomy and 1975 accord. In fact, we haven’t reached that stage as yet,” Rather said. “But we have discussed some issues threadbare and evolved consensus.”
Rather made it clear that no interim report has been prepared by the CSC so far and therefore there is no question of submitting the same to the state cabinet.
Rather said only he was authorized to speak on the outcome of the panel meetings.
To a query that Congress believes that things have been settled in 1975 through Indira-Abdullah accord, Rather said: “We don’t want to pay heed to what outsiders say about 1975 accord. Once we finalize the report, things will be made public.”
A senior Congress minister, wishing not to be named, however, said the party has made it clear to all members of CSC that 1975 accord had to be a base for any “debate or discussion.”
“It is true that a consensus has been evolved on certain things like Article 370, upholding the integrity of all three regions of the State as a single entity, socio-economic development and devolution of powers,” he said.
He, however, said the panel has submitted the interim report on June 15 this year with a resolve to discuss issues like autonomy in future meetings.
NC is of the belief that Justice Saghir has advocated restoration of autonomy but Congress leaders, who are the members of the panel, “strongly contradict the NC claim on the pretext that there is not a single word in Saghir report about autonomy.”
Another Congress minister said the party won’t budge from its stand that J&K was an integral part of India and “clock can’t be turned back.” “The two tallest political personalities, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah and Indira Gandhi settled things regarding J&K’s political future in 1975 through an accord. What else is left? There is no question of restoring the pre-1953 position,” he said.
CSC earlier discussed the recommendations of Saghir report in its meetings held on January 28, 2011; June 1, 2011; August 8, 2011; December 27, 2011; February 17, 2012 and March 29, 2012.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 26 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 26 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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