Faisul YaseenSrinagar, Aug 12:
Opposition National Conference (NC) Additional General Secretary, Sheikh Mustafa Kamal Saturday said if Government of India (GoI) “uses judiciary” to abrogate Article 35-A, then the accession of Jammu Kashmir with India ends.
In an interview to Rising Kashmir, Kamal said Article 35-A and Article 370, which accords special status to the State, are the links that connect Jammu Kashmir with the country.
Article 35-A is a constitutional provision that defines special privileges enjoyed by permanent residents of Jammu Kashmir in matters related to employment, acquisition of immovable property, settlements and scholarships while Article 370 accords a special autonomous status to the State.
“When Maharaja Hari Singh entered into a temporary accession with India, the accession was done on the promise that Jammu Kashmir will maintain a special status and if this status ends, then the temporary relationship with India ends, and the accession ends,” he said.
Kamal said NC President and Member of Parliament, Farooq Abdullah was right in saying that a part of the State (Pakistan administered Kashmir) was with Pakistan and Kashmir issue would not change by abrogating Article 35-A as the issue had been taken to the United Nations Organisation (UNO) by the first Prime Minister of independent India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru himself.
He said New Delhi was “using judiciary” to appease Hindu fundamentalists but in the process the country’s own constitution was getting weakened and leading to hatred in the relations between the people of Jammu Kashmir and people of India.
The NC Additional General Secretary, Government of India (GoI) had been dealing with Kashmir with a military might and indulging in killings of innocent Kashmir and the latest assault on Article 35-A was in continuation of its anti-Kashmir policy.
Kamal said former chief minister and NC Working President, Omar Abduyllah’s assertion that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was playing on both sides was accurate as New Delhi had failed her in implementing the Agenda of Alliance (AoA), the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Mehbooba initially showed reluctance in taking over as the CM saying she first wanted New Delhi to implement AoA by returning at least two power projects back to the State,” he said. “What happened to her claims of starting talks with separatists, opening roads with Pakistan and self-rule?”
The veteran NC leader and the son of former Prime Minister of Jammu Kashmir, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, said while the chief minister had said that the Prime Minister had promised her that the State’s special status would not be touched, this announcement had not been made by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
He said instead of starting dialogue with the Hurriyat leaders, Mehbooba had sent leaders like Shabir Ahmad Shah to Tihar jail.
“Omar sahib is right in saying that Mehbooba is fighting for the special status with us and enjoying the power with BJP that is bent upon abrogating this status,” Kamal said.