J&K polls: Article 370 figures in PDP manifesto

  • Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Nov 29, 2014 09:13 IST

While the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) manifesto on Friday promised to address the internal and external dimensions of larger political problem of Jammu and Kashmir, there was an extra focus on Article 370.

"Article 370 is required to empower the people of Jammu and Kashmir and help deal with the issues of identity, borders and governance.

"We will use Article 370 to restore 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 sleek manifesto 'An aspirational agenda' along with the party's top brass.

Interestingly, Article 370, the abrogation of which is on the BJP's cross-hairs, figures prominently and ahead of the party's 'self rule' formula, which it claims to be guiding framework for a resolution.

The manifesto said the party's '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, monetisation of cross-LoC trade, increase trade items. "Establishment of a dispute resolution forum for the trade, a dedicated communication network and make it a bankable trade," said Mufti.

The PDP manifesto advocated joint coordination mechanism and joint regulatory commission on trade and tariffs. "Will seek constitutional restructuring and empower sub-regions," it said.

The party once again raked up the contentious issue of water. "Will renegotiate all natural resource sharing agreement with the Centre, in particular water resources and the hydro-power projects and seek a share in the profits of the NHPC emanating from J&K waters," said Mufti.

While the manifesto promises to dedicate the year 2015 to the youth, Mufti said she will seek de novo examination of issues related to notifying of disturbed areas (which will pave way for revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act), review all cases against youth and withdraw them after scrutiny.

"Will review the use of inhuman crowd control methods like the pellet guns," she added.

The manifesto also reflected an imprint of former banker Haseeb Drabu, also member of the manifesto committee, with 11 pages devoted to economic rebuilding by "extensive import substitution and intensive export orientation".

It plans to reverse the ruling National Conference's move to bring J&K Bank fully under the purview of the RBI, referring to adoption of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act (SARFAESI).

"Will make J&K Bank once again the banker of last resort for J&K," it said.

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, Chenab valley, Jhelum valley, Indus valley and Pir Panchal.


1)Would strive towards making Jammu and Kashmir politically empowered, economically self reliant, environmentally safe, socially cohesive and culturally vibrant.

2) Would initiate tangible measures for reforming the government to ensure effective governance, revive the civil society and provide greater opportunities to the youth to make them self-reliant.

3) A special toll free hotline would be created in the chief minister's office for young state subjects who are in distress outside the state.

4) Would initiate tangible measures for reintegration and re-absorption of Kashmiri Pandits in the Kashmiri milieu.

5)Would ensure a one-time settlement compensation for PoK refugees and pursue the resolution passed by J&K assembly in 2005 for grant of ST status to the Pahari speaking people

6)A legislative framework would be worked out for empowerment of all minorities, including Sikhs and Christians. A separate scheduled tribe ministry would be set up for the welfare of Gujjars.

7) Special economic zones would be created for different regions of the state, including crafts and tourism for Jhelum valley, hydropower for Chenab valley, non conventional energy for Indus valley, biotechnology for Pir Panchal and manufacturing and trade for Jammu.

8)For journalists, the PDP will establish a press club in Srinagar.

9) Would create model business villages for horticulture and agriculture produce.
10)Three organic valleys would be set up in the state -- one each in Chenab, Jhelum and Nubra valleys to promote world-class organic farming.

11)Srinagar and Jammu would be developed as smart cities with rapid transport system and other basic amenities besides creating more satellite cities in the state.

12)Connectivity intra and inter-region connectivity would be the thrust area of PDP government and the party would pursue construction of tunnels on Mughal Road, Anantnag-Sinthan-Kishtwar Road, Srinagar-Kargil Road, Bandipora-Gurez road, Kupwara-Karnah road.

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