Jammu: National Conference Member Parliament and one of the five associate members of the Delimitation Commission Justice Hasnain Masoodi on Saturday stated that he and his party colleague Mohammed Akbar Lone had received the invite for a proposed meeting (of Commission) on December 20.
“Our party is likely to take a call on its participation or any other next step after having deliberations with our president Dr Farooq Abdullah, who is likely to reach Delhi tomorrow,” he said while speaking to Greater Kashmir from the union capital over phone.
The Commission has five associate members i.e., two from BJP Dr Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore Sharma besides three NC MPs.
“Since I’m in Delhi, I have got this invite for a meeting scheduled on December 20 at Hotel Ashok at 11.30 am. Similarly another Associate member and my senior colleague (Mohammed Akbar) Lone Sahib, who too is in Delhi, has already received it. Dr (Farooq) Sahib has not received it so far as he is in Jammu. It might have reached his residence. Had he been in (New) Delhi, he too would have received the invitation,” he said.
With regard to contours of the meeting, Justice Hasnain stated that he was not aware of the format. “I don’t know what will be the format of that meeting. Similarly the party will deliberate its next step... maybe the party leadership will go for a meeting of senior leaders, maybe they will just have consultations vis-a-vis our means of communication. This may also be possible that Dr Sahib after reaching here decides to sit together to decide on this issue,” he said.
Earlier speaking to Greater Kashmir, Justice Hasnain stated that NC had raised an issue of constitutionality of this entire exercise being undertaken in its initial meeting with the Commission during its visit to J&K in July this year. NC had abstained from the former first meeting of Associate Members convened by the Commission.
“Our line of reasoning was that this Commission was created under “The Reorganisation Act” and this Act has already been under challenge in the Supreme Court of India. Its constitutional validity was challenged,” Justice Hasnain had asserted.
“Reason is - we believe that such an exercise cannot be undertaken under a law that is “constitutionally a suspect law.” Because we have to appreciate that the Supreme Court did not only entertain our petition (and other petitions) but referred it to the constitution bench. That by itself indicates that the Supreme Court, on the face of it, on the first look, finds some kind of merit in our petition and the grounds on which it is based. That is how it has been referred to the constitution bench. So we've taken an initial stand that this entire exercise (Delimitation) is not in tune with the constitution,” Justice Hasnain had explained the rationale behind staying away from the entire exercise.
Will have to talk to Pakistan, reiterates NC president
While responding to media queries after addressing one-day convention of NC’s Minority Cell at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhawan here, Dr Farooq Abdullah robustly reiterated his stand for “dialogue with Pakistan” (to stop the mindless violence in Kashmir and resolve all issues).
He also termed the killing of two police personnel by militants in the Valley “a sad story”. Asked if he still insisted on talks with Pakistan, Abdullah retorted, You have to talk. There is no way out (to end militancy).
“You can talk to China. What do you say about that? China is coming and occupying our territory. They are making their own houses in that territory. Let the Government of India allow discussion in the Parliament to understand what the Chinese are doing,” the NC MP from Srinagar said.