The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) released its manifesto on Friday, promising to use Article 370 to restore Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and offering to pursue self rule as a framework for the resolution of the Kashmir problem.
The PDP is expected to emerge as the single largest party in Jammu and Kashmir where anger against the ruling National Conference is running high, especially since September’s floods which caught the administration by surprise.
“We will use Article 370 to restore the original special status as it impacts everything from political discourses and personal responses ... from institutions to ideologies," said PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, who released the 58-page manifesto.
While the PDP focused on Article 370, the BJP was silent on the contentious law in its vision document released on Thursday.
The PDP manifesto said self rule is aimed at developing closer ties across the Line of Control (LoC) by “making borders irrelevant and creating complete connectivity”.
“Will help in economic and social integration of the region by creating regional free trade area and common economic market,” it reads.
It promised opening more trade routes and advocated a joint coordination mechanism and joint regulatory commission on trade and tariffs.
“Establishment of a dispute resolution forum for the trade, a dedicated communication network and make it a bankable trade,” said Mufti.
Rehabilitation of flood-victims and flood protection also figured prominently in the manifesto. The party promised special region-specific projects for infrastructure, tourism, craft and development for Srinagar and Jammu cities, the Chenab Valley, Jhelum Valley, Indus Valley and Pir Panchal.