Focus of dialogue should be JK: Mufti
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Sep 8: Expressing satisfaction at the continuation of dialogue between India and Pakistan, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed today said it was imperative to focus on Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a public meeting at Hanjoora in Chrar-e-Sharif constituency, he said, “Unless the peace process is redirected to J&K-specific measures as had happened in 2003, the dialogue will lack meaning for the people of this state who are the main stakeholders in reconciliation between the two countries.”
Mufti said J&K had been looking keenly forward to implementation of the decisions taken last year between the two foreign ministers on cross-LOC trade and travel. Though it is a welcome move to ease the general visa regime between the two countries and allowing investment in each other’s business ventures, the inability to implement decisions pertaining to J&K has come as a huge disappointment here, he said.
Mufti said such dithering on J&K specific initiatives had the potential of neutralizing gains on other fronts and the hawkish mindset on it among the security community of the two countries could subvert entire process.
Referring to the earlier decisions taken by the two countries, Mufti said it would immensely benefit the region if the travel and trade across LOC was taken to the next level. He said the expansion of travel facility to people beyond the divided families, increasing the frequency of bus service and opening up of new routes like the Skardu-Kargil road could take us nearer the ultimate goal of having a hurdle-less border. Similarly the trade across LOC will need banking back up and communication facility to lift it out of the present problems that make it vulnerable to frequent hassles and allegations. He said the long pending decisions on these crucial matters need immediate implementation.
The PDP patron said reopening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road in 2005 was a historic first step that could be taken only because for the first time a sense of participation was given to the people of the state whose aspirations had positively been responded to by the then Prime Minister Vajpayee. The bus service and the ceasefire ordered then are the only CBMs that have survived many bad moments like the 26/11 incident since independence of South Asia. “The durability of these initiatives came from the fact that they had originated from the people of the state, whose sentiment for peace and resolution was channeled by PDP and its coalition Government with Congress, and Vajpayee had responded with statesmanship,” Mufti said and urged people to help him bring back same spirit to resolve Kashmir issue once and for all.
“The resolution of political problem and implementation of a visionary developmental plan can materialize only through democratic methods as had been established post 2002 and for that we need to use our vote with care, caution and wisdom,” he said.
Addressing the rally, senior party leader and former deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussein Baig said the National Conference-led Government was demolishing all institutions of probity and accountability that had been established by the previous Government with painstaking efforts.
He said since the Chief Minister himself and most of his ministers have faced serious allegations of corruption, this Government has tried to find security in dismantling all the institutions like State Information Commission (SIC), State Accountability Commission (SAC), State Vigilance Commission (SVC) and the State Vigilance Organization. They have also seriously compromised the independence of investigation by State Police, Baig said.
Coming down heavily on the Government for a virtual ‘disempowerment’ of SIC by revising the rules governing the RTI Act, Baig said Omar Abdullah is trying to make all institutions his hand maidens. He said the revision of rules has reduced the SIC to a mere rubber stamp which will have no authority to enforce its decisions and it will result in added litigation even on routine matters of seeking information from the Government.
“Why is this Government so scared of sharing public information with the people if it has nothing to hide?” Baig asked. Baig said it was ironical that the Government which refused to empower the panchayat institutions on the pretext of special position of the state was saying it changed RTI rules to bring them at par with the central Act. “This Government has lost ability even to tell lies with the trademark expertise of NC,” he said.
Baig said the killing of Haji Yousuf and Cricket Association scam both established the involvement of Abdullah family in corrupt deals. He said police was prevented from making transparent investigation in both cases but people of the state now clearly see through the games that National Conference leadership has been playing with them for decades. There is no doubt in the hearts and minds of people that criminality has over taken this party and at the first available point it will be confined to the dustbin of history.
Baig said the SAC and SVC have been made completely defunct and these institutions are used only as propaganda handle by the Government. “It is amusing that the Chief Minister should be citing the SAC as an evidence of his anti-corruption crusade even after he challenged its jurisdiction in the state High Court”. He said if Omar Abdullah found any lacuna in the law governing the SAC, shouldn’t he have come to the legislature to remove it rather than get proceedings against himself stayed from the court on a technical ground. He said, “With a Chief Minister like that and the institutions in that helpless condition, it is no wonder that everything in the state is on sale, whether it is political appointments like ministers, MLCs, money in the treasury, drugs in the hospital, jobs, transfers or certificates.”
Highlighting achievements of the previous PDP-Congress regime, Senior Vice-President PDP, Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, said that PDP-led regime had brought complete transparency in the governance and created an atmosphere for accelerating developmental activities. He, however, regretted that present regime has derailed the process of peace and development in Jammu and Kashmir.
“During the last four and a half years, alienation among people has been increasing due to governance deficit and rampant corruption”, he observed, adding that present regime has failed to bring transparency and accountability in governance.
“Corruption has been legitimized in Jammu and Kashmir because those at the helm of the affairs are themselves involved in corruption”, he said and added that the names of higher-ups in the Government have also figured in a number of corruption cases.
On this occasion, senior party leader and former Finance Minister Tariq Hameed Karra said that a leader like Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, who has clean public image, could curb the menace of corruption in Jammu and Kashmir. He reiterated resolve of PDP is to evolve institutional arrangements to curb the menace of corruption in the Government and administration.
He said it was a pleasant development that the people particularly youth of the state had started getting impressed with the PDP agenda and aligning with it. “Self rule is a document of hope and it is natural that the youth who have been the worst victims of conflict strike an easy bond with our agenda,” he said.
Noted RTI activist Dr Raja Muzaffar who recently joined the party also addressed the rally and highlighted the significance of the RTI and condemned the Government action of amending RTI rules.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 8 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 8 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 9 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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