'Hold talks with all stakeholders'

Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President and Member Parliament Dr Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday urged Government of India to seize the golden opportunity and hold talks with all the stakeholders in the state.

The NC president while underscoring the inevitability of the process of dialogue said, “On June 22, 2019 Governor (Satya Pal Malik) had said that the Hurriyat was ready for talks. I believe BJP should use its massive mandate to solve the protracted issue of Jammu and Kashmir. There is no other alternative to dialogue. It is the institution of dialogue that will commit both to listen, reflect and question in order to reach a greater understanding. It is an apt time for the Centre to open all channels of dialogue with the Hurriyat. We have been hearing the Catch-words of “Kashmiriyat, Jamhooriyat, and Insaniyat” for long now, however nothing substantial was done to materialize them.”

 “The BJP led central government should without much delay tread the path as shown by Vajpayee. The Centre should move in that direction and hold talks with all stakeholders in the state on the principles advocated by him.  The measure of opening dialogue with all the stakeholders will certainly act as a catalyst for restoring peace in the ill-fated state of ours. It is high time for BJP to turn its massive mandate into an aggressive engagement with all the stakeholders.”

The Party president while necessitating for a dialogue said, “The central government should also address to the external dimensions of the issue and use the method of tact and diplomacy. The central government should continue with the good work done by the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Pakistan too should attend to the genuine grievances of the India. The much touted ‘Neighborhood first’ policy of the BJP led central government  would not be able to give the India much anticipated diplomatic dividends if neighbours are left out on this front. I am of the thought that India and Pakistan bonhomie is indispensable for the fight against militancy. The new government in the Centre with a far bigger mandate will certainly earn more esteem if it is able to bring peace in the region. Now it is for the central government to consider if it wants to go down the lane of history as a government that wasn’t able to find solution to the longstanding problem plaguing the region.”        

 While rejecting the frequent tirade of BJP ministers against the Art 370, Art 35- A he said, “The honorable Prime Minister should stop the untaught and unintelligent rants emanating from his party. The matter of Art 35-A is sub-judice and it is therefore not appropriate for anybody to comment on it. On the other hand the honorable Supreme Court has recently opined in its 3 April judgment that Art 370 has acquired a permanent status.” 

“The provision of Art 370 was not given to us by the then Prime Minister Nehru, but the constituent assembly of India. The motion was supported by the then Home Minister Vallab Bhai Patel, and the then Industries Minister Shyama Prasad Mukharjee. In addition to that Art 370 is powered by the conditional instrument of accession previously signed by Maharaja Hari Singh.  Moreover the state of Jammu and Kashmir didn’t sign any merger papers which were signed by other princely states, our erstwhile head of state Maharaja only signed document of accession subject to conditions. Subsequently the state and the Centre entered into an accord, the Delhi agreement of 1952 as it is referred to as. The accord was ratified by the Parliament of India and subsequently by the constituent assembly of the state. As such any unscrupulous fiddling with special status of the state will inversely hit the bond of the state with the union. Likewise Art 1 will come under shadow if the Art 370 is fiddled with.”

Meanwhile, the NC president said the Kashmiris have always taken it upon themselves to support Shri Amarnath Yatra. “Honorable Governor has himself said that the Yatra has always been supported by the locals. Then one fails to understand why locals are put to undue duress by coming up with reckless traffic gags and highways bans. I urge the government to do away with the highway ban. Such decision does not behoove a democratic country like that of ours,” he added.

 While expressing dismay over the appalling condition of the sole train service in the Valley he said, “The condition of the train is unclean and the compartments are presenting a filthy appearance.”

Dr Farooq said that he even  raised the issue in the Parliament the other day. He sought immediate improvement of the facilities being given to the commuters on the train.