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Self rule for economic integration of J&K

Self rules aims at economic integration of cross LoC regions of Jammu and Kashmir, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: Nov 14, 2006 12:41 IST
Arun Joshi

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has unveiled  PDP's self rule in its most specific terms at an international forum saying that it is for the economic integration of the two divided parts of Jammu and Kashmir and recognises the political sovereignty of the nation-states.

Mufti Sayeed, currently touring the United States as head of the non-official delegation of India at the United Nations, was speaking at a dinner hosted by  Kashmiri Americans in Washington on Monday evening. He said that he was seeing a "silver-lining" in the horizon as far as solution to Kashmir crisis is concerned as the peace process between India and Pakistan  has endured many setbacks in the past, and is progressing now.

on self-rule, Sayeed said, "right now we are at the stage of formulating ideas and proposals to break the deadlock and evolve a consensus formula for the resolution of the Kashmir problem".

"There is for the first time free flow of ideas and opinions across the Line of Control leading to a healthy debate on the possible outcome," he said adding PDP is trying to contribute its bit and in the shape of self rule. The party has floated a set of well-considered proposals for the amicable and ultimate settlement of the issue."

Describing self rule as a comprehensive package, Sayeed said the formulation would solve not just the problem of Kashmir but could provide a model for the entire region as it respects the political sovereignty of the nation-states and their constitutional framework. He said self rule envisages economic integration of both parts of Jammu and Kashmir supported by a strong institutional mechanism.

"The sub-continent's history makes it imperative for both India and Pakistan to not only resolve their mutual conflicts but also forge a healthy cooperation towards achieving the desired level of economic and human development," he said adding that the gains of success are "immense just as the consequences of the failure are horrendous".

"We who claim to represent the people will have to set our house in order and evolve an internal consensus on a pragmatic, practical and workable solution," he said adding that each one of us should not be relegated to be representing just individual notions and views.

Sayeed said the sense of siege that gripped the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the partition will have to be addressed and their liberty to move along the traditional routes restored. He said the fabled creativity of Kashmiris in arts, crafts, knowledge and literature will have to be provided a more congenial atmosphere to flourish and assimilate into it the power and drive of the free global market. "Unfortunately globalization and free-market has stopped short of Kashmir denying us the benefit of economic integration leading to unrest and concern," he said adding that the time has now come to remove all these barriers and allow free movement of people and goods across the dividing line.

Mufti Sayeed has asked the Kashmiri diaspora to pool in their resources for the economic development of Jammu and  Kashmir as peace and progress in the sub-continent has probably never been critically linked as it is today.

He said on one hand the region is striving to catch up with the global race for human and economic development, while on the other it is beset with bloodshed and violence. "We in Jammu and Kashmir understand it better, for it has been our fate to live through this ordeal for more than a decade now," he said adding that for the people of the state it has been a long, dark experience, blood-spattered and frustrating most of the times.

The PDP patron said after over five decades of suffering a "silver-lining is now emerging on the horizon offering a ray of hope and a historic opportunity to leave behind the dread of the past and move into a peaceful and prosperous future."

"That the peace process has endured quite a few serious setbacks in the recent past, reinforces the hope that it has to keep on going," he said and added that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are the highest stake-holders in its success. 

Sayeed said within the state also various players must understand inevitability of the dialogue and peace process, and reconcile their positions to workout a realistic solution instead of adding to the confusion.