K-J Chambers Join Hands to Fight Divisive Elements, Protect J&K’s Special Status

Riyaz Ul Khaliq



The business leaders (L to R): Faiz A Bakhshi, Mushtaq A Wani, Rajesh Gupta and Dr Mubeen A Shah at the presser conference in Srinagar on Monday. (Photo Courtesy: Mehraj Bhat)
The business leaders (L to R): Faiz A Bakhshi, Mushtaq A Wani, Rakesh Gupta and Dr Mubeen A Shah at the press conference in Srinagar on Monday. (Photo Courtesy: Mehraj Bhat)

The business chambers of Kashmir and Jammu on Monday resolved to fight the divisive elements in Jammu and Kashmir together and said that they will leave no stone unturned to safeguard the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing a press conference at KCCI headquarters in Srinagar, the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries (JCCI) president, Rakesh Gupta, said, “we condemn the recent attack on three Kashmiris in Udhampur; we demand identification of the accused and stringent action against them.” KCCI office bearers Mushtaq Ahmad Wani, Faiz Ahmad Bakhshi and various former presidents of the Chamber including Nazir A Dar, Rauf Punjabi, G M Dugga and Dr Mubeen Shah were present at the presser.

Gupta said that the JCCI has learnt lessons after 2008 economic blockade. “Let me be frank, we got nothing out of it,” he said, “we have to work hand-in-hand to develop.” Gupta said that there are many agencies working in J&K who want to keep the “pot boiling”. “There are many agents, whether government or non-governmental, they are hell bent to divide us and we warn them it will have serious consequences,” he said.

Gupta further added, “there are various unaccounted security funds. Neither politicians nor security agencies want peaceful atmosphere in J&K.”

A joint resolution of the chambers said, “we condemn the attack on innocent truckers by the politically motivated goons and the ineffective action taken by the government to curb them with a heavy hand.”

Gupta said that he was ashamed as “J&K is a beggar state”. It is because of Government of India (GoI),” he said, “why is there no policy to make J&K an economically independent state? Why is there a need to go for begging funds from GoI?” He said, “we want to have our own resources so that we sustain ourselves.”

Gupta, who is in Srinagar when Kashmir is observing a complete shutdown against the murderous attack on a trucker along with two others in Udhampur on the intervening night of Friday-Saturday said, “I am here to show solidarity with business community in particular and public at large.”

Gupta asserted that the business community has to remain united to fight those forces who want divide J&K. “Following the Udhampur incident, the Jammu business community is in constant touch with DG Police. We have told him what could be the consequences if such nefarious elements are not stopped and booked under law.” The JCCI president said most of the accused involved in Udhampur incident are already behind bars while Public Safety Act (PSA) must have been slapped against them for now.

Both the business leaders Mushtaq and Gupta were unanimous in resolving that the business community shall be fighting the cases which intend to damage the special status of J&K. “If some constitutional arrangements are safeguarding our culture and history and giving us a special identity, we will fight tooth and nail to safeguard it,” he stressed.

The chambers further decided that they will “fight all such elements jointly who want to dilute the identity of the permanent residents of J&K by debating on sections of constitution”.

The Jammu business leader, Gupta, said, “those who want trifurcation of state want to see people as beggars.” “We will have nothing in our hands; we will be left just as beggars if J&K is trifurcated,” he maintained. Gupta also said that the business communities need to be positive. “We have demanded that Silk route be opened,” he said in response to a question.

The KCCI and JCCI will be holding regular meetings from now.


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