We want to deepen democracy across J&K: Faesal
The Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPM) is not Kashmir-centric and belongs to people of all regions of the state, the party president Shah Faesal said on Sunday.
Addressing party activists and youths during his maidenvisit to Jammu after the launch of the JKPM recently, Faesal said: "It is ahistoric day for us (JKPM) because this is our first public meeting in Jammu. Ihave been asked several times as to why we have come to Jammu. We could havestayed in Kashmir and ran our political affairs from the Valley. We could haveremained Kashmir-centric and tried to win the assembly seats by spreadinghatred between the people of the two regions (Jammu and Kashmir). But we havecome here to let people of all regions of the state—irrespective of caste,creed, religion or region—come forward and speak their hearts out".
"We have come here to unite people, to preserve theterritorial integrity of the state, its constitutional integrity, its futureand the future of the upcoming generations. It is also a happy day because wehave not come here to ask for votes, but to meet people and hear them," Faesalsaid. Talking about his party's manifesto, he said: "JKPM is not just apolitical party, but a movement built on sacrifices. We want to set the trendof honest, straightforward and realistic politics. We want to engage with thefuture leadership of Jammu, which comprises youth and visionaries".
Referring to "issues" concerning the people of Jammu, Faesalsaid: "What I have heard from my conversations with the local civil societymembers is that the people of Jammu feel that they are being disempowered. Thepeople feel that the politics in the state as well as the institutions in thestate are not able to fulfill their aspirations, and that they are not beingwell represented".
"The fundamental message I want to give out today is that we(JKPM) will acknowledge all truths, which include Kashmir being a livinggraveyard, Jammu province being severely affected due to cross-border firingand shelling and Ladakh being disempowered," Faesal said. "The issue concerningKashmir, the grievances of the people of Jammu and the aspirations of Ladakhmight take some time to be resolved, but we will not lose our humanity, neitherwill we cut-off the relations around us. Till the political issues areresolved, we do have to live together, work together and move ahead together,"he said.
"We are the first one to talk about interdependency betweenJammu and Kashmir regions. Since the past 70 years, the governments have notthought about the trade interdependency between the two regions and the ways toflourish and enhance it".
"For the past 70 years, successive governments have failedto provide an all-weather road between Jammu and Kashmir. The Mughal Roadremains shut for at least six months every year. Is providing road connectivitya tough ask? Why hasn't it happened yet?" Faesal asked.
About "issues concerning Ladakh", the JKMP president said:"Till date, the frontier areas of Ladakh still rely on gensets or local smallgrids for electricity, as the government has failed to construct a 440KV powerline to these areas. The successive governments did not think about sustainabledevelopment of the region. In such a scenario, how will the local populace notfeel disempowered? Why will the youth of Ladakh vote when they have onlysuffered for want of basic amenities?"
About his party's plans, Faesal said: "We want to set up abipartisan developmental planning board so that the aspirations of the peopleof all regions are fulfilled. The board will decide the amount of developmentalfunds to be released to each region.
By doing this, the politicians will be kept out of the loopand would not hamper/favour the development in a specific area. As far ascorruption is concerned, which is a very serious issue in Jammu and Kashmir, wewill provide the state accountability commission suo-moto powers so that it caninvestigate complaints against senior-most officers as well. We will also tryto change the way the members and chairmen of the recruitment agencies, includingJKPSC and SSRB, are appointed via bipartisan method, in a bid to ensure thatthe aspirants do not feel cheated and ensure transparency".
"JKPM will try to create jobs in Jammu by way of industrialdevelopment and industrialisation. Jammu can be the engine that runs the stateas the region. We will construct tertiary-care hospitals and super-specialtyhospitals in every district".
"We need to acknowledge issues of all regions. Kashmir hasbeen suffering since a long time and we need to understand what the peoplewant. We need to sit, talk and resolve these issues as Kashmiris are ourbrethren.
Jammu people need to think that Kashmiris are their brothersand vice-versa," he said, adding that JKPM "will provide politicalrepresentation to people of all underrepresented communities, which will helpin building the state and making the general public feel that it is them whoare in power". "We want to give out the message of justice. We want to deependemocracy across Jammu and Kashmir.
We want to show the people what real development is. It isnot only the construction of bridges and roads, but changing the mindset ofpeople, ensuring intellectual development, acquiring patents, moving ahead onartificial intelligence, increase in hi-tech industries, bringing more womeninto the fold of politics, bureaucracy and high-level institutions".
JKPM patron, Javed Mustafa Mir, said, "JKPM does not needanything but the help and support of the common masses. It is the party wherethe common man is the leader and all of us follow him. We want to ensureequitable development of all five regions of the state, including Kashmir,Jammu, Ladakh, Pir Panchal and Chenab Valley, as per the aspirations and needsof the people."