PDP keeps exit door open: No pact if 'alliance agenda' turned down

PDP keeps exit door open: No pact if 'alliance agenda' turned down

The meeting between Modi-Mufti will naturally not take place if things don’t reach there,” the sources disclosed.

In contrast to what speculations indicate, the much talked about government in Jammu and Kashmir is unlikely to be in place soon, with the Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party still in the process of ‘reaching a consensus’ on the former’s ‘alliance agenda,’ Greater Kashmir has learnt.


Highly placed sources said while some proposals in the agenda have been agreed to by the BJP, a few are yet to be settled. “From the PDP side, the view is that the government formation solely depends on agreement between the two parties on the agenda on alliance,” they said.


The PDP’s line of action, the sources said, is clear to extent that if the BJP doesn’t agree to the agenda—which includes a host of key and contentious matters pertaining to the state—the party “won’t hesitate to call it a day.”


The party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, the sources said, is of the view that “at this age, he can’t allow himself to turn into a demon in the eyes of people if the party’s alliance with BJP yields nothing for the state’s welfare.”


Mufti, the sources said, is “closely looking” at the progress on the alliance agenda to take a final call on the possible pact. “If it (the agenda) doesn’t materialize, the PDP patron doesn’t feel the need make a headlong,” they said.


The sources said Mufti’s likely meeting with Modi—as certain news reports indicated—will take place only if the possible alliance comes to that point. “As of now, everything is happening at the party leaders’ level and not the level of top leadership.


The meeting between Modi-Mufti will naturally not take place if things don’t reach there,” the sources disclosed.


“At this stage, he (Mufti) holds the view that the party’s alliance with BJP should not be like that fruitless accord by NC founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah’s with Indira Gandhi in 1975 or the pact between Farooq Abdullah and Rajiv Gandhi in ‘80s which yielded nothing more than Zero Bridge and Gulmarg Gondola for Kahsmiris,” the sources said.


“So all the focus is on agenda on alliance which is a holistic roadmap on government formation. If it clicks, well and good. And if not, the PDP doesn’t feel a compulsion in that case to ally with the BJP.”



Sharing the agenda on alliance with Greater Kashmir, the sources said it includes the following:




The PDP, according to sources, has sought normalization of India’s relation with Pakistan and a dialogue between the two countries on Kashmir. “The PDP has even sought Kashmiris, who are the important stakeholders, to be included in the dialogue process. The BJP is of the view that ties with Pakistan is a foreign affairs matter. So it remains to be seen how this contention is resolved,” they said.



The PDP, the sources said, has also pitched for Centre’s dialogue with Kashmir’s separatist leaders—something that the BJP is still to take a call on.




The PDP, the sources said, has proposed “complete withdrawal” of controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)—giving immunity to soldiers in Kashmir—from Jammu and Kashmir within one year and “immediate withdrawal” of the Act from certain areas of the state. “It has been proposed that lifting of AFSPA from certain areas of the state should take place immediately after the government is formed,” they said.




The PDP’s agenda on alliance, the sources said, includes freeing land and buildings under the occupation of Army and paramilitary forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

Pertinently, the Government last year said Army and paramilitary forces are illegally occupying 66,690 kanals of land in the state.


“66690 kanals and 10 marals of land are under the unauthorized occupation of the Army and Paramilitary CRPF and no rent has been paid to the land owners against use of the land,” the former State Home Minister Omar Abdullah said in the Legislative Assembly last year.




The PDP, the sources said, has also made it clear to the BJP that “it should not fiddle with Article 370” of the Indian Constitution which guarantees special status to Jammu and Kashmir.




The PDP has also pitched for return of power projects including Uri and Salal from the National Hydel Power Corporation. The party has also sought counter-guarantee from Government of India to funding on power projects by financial institutions like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.




The PDP agenda also includes seeking compensation for the losses that the State has suffered on account of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT). The Government doesn’t have any figures based on a scientific research about the losses suffered by the state on account of the Indus Water Treaty though rough estimates peg the losses between Rs 18000 crore to Rs 20000 crore. The PDP has sought Rs 24,0000crore on account of IWT losses.




Apart from opening of old routes like China-Ladakh road and Sialkote route, the PDP has also sought free movement of people and free trade between Kashmir and Muzaffarbad.




The PDP has also sought not to touch the contentious issue of settlement of non-state subject West Pakistan refugees in Jammu and Kashmir. The issue has, in J&K, already turned into a controversy with separatists threatening agitation in case the WPRs are given state-subjects and voting rights.




The PDP, the sources said, has also sought allotment of a coal mine for construction of a thermal power project there and later draw the power generated from the project to J&K through the National Grid.




The PDP has also sought return of youth languishing in jails outside the State, funding for Srinagar city under Government of India’s ‘100 Smart Cities’ and world heritage status to Dal Lake in Srinagar.