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PDP says peace process should consider people's aspirations

india Updated: Feb 10, 2007 18:41 IST
Arun Joshi
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Peoples Democratic Party has demanded that the that the ongoing Indo-Pak peace process should form a part of a comprehensive, integrated and amicable settlement structure addressing the aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

Speaking at a meeting of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), the highest decision-making body of PDP, in Jammu on Saturday morning, party Patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said the Jammu & Kashmir issue should not be viewed as a territorial dispute to be resolved by India and Pakistan bilaterally.

"It is a problem with external and internal dimensions involving India, Pakistan and the people of the entire State of Jammu & Kashmir," he said and pointed out that the external dimensions of the problem involve the stands and stakes of India and Pakistan in the State of Jammu & Kashmir while the internal dimensions relate to the relationship between both parts of Kashmir with their respective mainlands.

Unfortunately, in the past, Sayeed said efforts, with not much significance, were made to resolve the internal and external dimensions of the problem in isolation of each other. He said the agreements between India and Pakistan like the one at Shimla, recognised only the external dimensions and pledged the two countries to find peaceful bilateral resolution of their problems. On the other hand, he said, the Delhi agreement of 1952 or Indira-Abdullah accord of 1975 were addressed at finding a fragmented solution to the issues of inter-state relations.

"While we welcome the ongoing peace process between India and Pakistan to find a solution of the external dimensions, it is imperative that any such attempt should form a part of a comprehensive, integrated settlement structure that also addresses the aspirations of the people of the State and gives them a sense of security, dignity, prosperity and durable peace," he emphasised.

Sayeed pointed out that his party's Self Rule formula encompasses all the essential elements of a durable solution as, it is not aimed at mere empowerment of the State Government but the empowerment of the people of the entire State. "The empowerment of the people entails not only the political and constitutional issues, but also administrative and economic problems of the people," he said.

He added that the constitutional restructuring of the relations of the State of Jammu & Kashmir with their respective mainlands should impart to the people a sense of being the masters of their destiny in a democratic environment, where their verdict and will is respected by the respective federal governments. This, he said should be the guiding principle in working out a practical and feasible constitutional relationship between the Center and the State.

Sayeed said no Self Rule could be meaningful unless the people of Jammu & Kashmir have a reasonable degree of economic self reliance. PDP, he said strongly believes that Government of India should become a partner with the State in working out an economic and fiscal relationship that expands the local economic space, enhances its resource mobilisation & utilisation and generates employment for its youth.

He emphasised that the youth of Jammu & Kashmir must be provided sufficient avenues without which there can't be a sense of satisfaction amongst the general population of the State. He also called for working out a compensation package for the losses suffered by the State because of the Indus Water Treaty.

Sayeed emphasised that the real executive power is exercised in equal measure by the bureaucracy and there is an urgent need to roll back the jurisdiction of the relevant provisions of the Constitution extending the ambit of the central services to Jammu & Kashmir. This, he said would go a long way in the empowerment of the local administration.

During the deliberations the PAC members expressed their views on the issues related to the prevalent political and security situation and the functioning of the Coalition Government and the administration. The meeting resolved to strengthen the alliance to provide good governance to the State and consolidate and promote the development process undertaken by the Coalition Government in 2002.

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