‘Revamping of 1974 Act must for socio-economic development in PaK’
NISAR AHMED THOKAR
Rawalakot, June 30: Civil society representatives at a discourse held under the aegis by Centre for Peace, Development and Reforms (CPDR) resolved that revamping of interim act of 1974 was essentially important for the socio-economic development, peace and prosperity in the region.
The discourse on CPDR report titled “An appraisal of constitutional, financial and administrative arrangements between government of Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir” was held at the picturesque town of Rawalakot, which was attended by the civil society representatives, leaders of various political parties, lawyers, academicians and the representatives of print and electronic media.
Renowned jurist Justice (retired) Basharat Ahmed Shiekh while highlighting the salient features of the report said that the interim act of 1974 has unfortunately undermined the status of government of the region and rendered it as an ineffective and impotent body with no executive power. He said that one of the darkest aspects of the Interim Act was that all the executive powers were dedicated to Kashmir Council.
He said that the KC has administrative authority over 52 subjects, whereas chairman of the council has been endowed with the authority regarding the appointment and dismissing of Chief Election Commissioner, Auditor General and the judges of Supreme Court and high court.
As the chairman of Kashmir Council, he said that Prime Minister of Pakistan exercises his full authority, which according to him was a violation of the constitution of Pakistan.
So for as the rights of the people are concerned, he said that the Article 257 of the Pakistan constitution is very much clear that Kashmiris have every right to determine what sort of a relationship they want to establish with Pakistan.
“Since the induction of this Act, ironically, not a single person ever took the pains to examine this document so as to determine its merits and demerits”, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, chairman of the CPDR Tariq Masood said, “CPDR has provided a unique platform to all the political actors as well as the civil society representatives to engage in a constructive, meaningful and result-oriented discussions on the subject to get the issues resolved through democratic and peaceful means”.
Expressing concern over the worsening economic situation in the region, the former president of Trans-LoC Joint Commerce and Industry Zulfiqar Abassi said that 40% of budget was being consumed on administrative affairs, while on the other hand the private sector was on the brink of disaster as government of the region has no policy to facilitate the local investors.
Stressing the need for a change in existing structure, Abassi said that devolution of powers from Kashmir Council to the government of PaK was must to tackle the economic challenges faced by the people of the region.
While concluding the debate, political analyst and the Executive Director of CPDR Ershad Mehmood said that there have been diverse opinions, however, the real contention of the dialogue was to engage civil society and seek opinions as how to improve or to modify the existing structure bearing in mind the fact that the relationship with Pakistan was a reality that can’t just be ignored.
“Although it is a reality but getting engaged in a constructive manner we can work together to explore ways and means to make the exiting arrangement between the two governments more transparent, acceptable and reliable”, he said. He said that the fact remains that an overwhelming majority in the region was against the stats-quo and they want change in the existing arrangement.
He said that the CPDR has set a stage whereby political leadership can get strength.
Others who spoke on the occasion included Zafer Hussain Zaffar, Syed Waqas Ali Kousar and others whereas the program manager of German NGO Nauman Fedrich Najama Khan was present on the occasion.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 30 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 30 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 1 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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NISAR AHMED THOKAR
Rawalakot, June 30: Civil society representatives at a discourse held under the aegis by Centre for Peace, Development and Reforms (CPDR) resolved that revamping of interim act of 1974 was essentially More