Putting speculations to rest ahead of the coming assembly elections scheduled to take place next year, the much anticipated Third Front—a combination of different shades of political opinion took shape Wednesday at a formal meeting in Srinagar.
The meeting was attended by Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami CPI (M) State Secretary, Hakim Mohammad Yasin president PDF and MLA, Sheikh Abdul Rehman former MP and state president Samajwadi Party, Muzaffar Shah ANC senior vice president, Abdul Rashid Kabuli former MP and president JKNDF, ID Khajuria president International Democratic Party, Abdul Rehman Tukru state secretary CPI and Sanjay Saraf youth president Lok Janshakti Party.
After hectic deliberations which lasted for over three hours, a spokesman of the Third Front issued a communiqué highlighting many important issues.
Reliable sources told KNS, that apart from present political and security situation, the coming Assembly elections also surfaced in the Third Front meeting.
According to the Communiqué issued by Third Front, the political uncertainty is at the heart of all problems faced by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“…From deprivation of political rights, transparency, accountability, effective and participatory governance the people here have been facing a range of challenges like irresponsive administration, price rise, corruption, ever increasing unemployment, malpractices, favoritism, lack of accountability and delayed justice. Holding Round Table Conferences, appointing interlocutors and then sleeping over their recommendations has virtually eroded the credibility of the political process in Jammu and Kashmir,” reads the communiqué.
The Third Front leaders have said that there is no security solution to the Kashmir issue and the leadership of India and Pakistan need to exhibit statesmanship to find out acceptable solution to all outstanding issues including Kashmir. “India and Pakistan cannot afford to continue with the present hostile atmosphere and for this alternative solutions are to be looked into. It is our firm belief that only a sustained, meaningful dialogue can lead the two countries towards that goal.”
The Front leaders have observed that the recent civilian killings in Gool and Shpoian demand a serious approach and appraisal. On the condition of local unemployed youth, the Front leaders have opined that while the youth in other parts of the country have assumed a centre stage, the youth here continue to face adversities and exclusion. “The denial of justice and merit has substantiated the strong perception among the youth that they have never been treated at par with the youth belonging to other states of the country.”
“Cashing upon the helplessness of our unemployed educated youth, the government has unfortunately resorted to adhocism, contractualisation, casualisation and engaging youth on need basis. However, these policies have left the people suffering for want of their wages which they hardly get after months together,” the Front leaders have added.
Criticizing what they called dismembering the constitutional and administrative institutions beyond repair, the Front leaders have said that the same has played a considerable role in deteriorating the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
On draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the Front leaders have stressed the need for revocation of these laws and similarly, there should be a complete review of draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) in their opinion.
“Economy continues to remain in shambles. Proper planning is nowhere in sight. Top heavy and oversized administration is an unbearable burden. State is getting trapped into acute debt vortex with every passing year and this moving backward trend does not catch sight of those who day in and day out chant much hyped development. The thrust should have been on improving agriculture and horticulture which continue to provide livelihood to nearly 80% of our population.”
The Front leaders have accused the present coalition government of turning deaf ear and blind eye to the acute day to day problems the working people are confronted with. “The sky touching prices of commodities is another area of serious concern. While the essential commodities have gone out of reach for the poor people the latest hike in fuel prices will have a cascading effect on people already burdened by the price rise.”
On the prevailing power crisis in the state, the Front leaders have expressed surprise on delay in return of power projects to the state. “Recommendations of various panels that the power projects currently with the NHPC should be returned to Jammu and Kashmir substantiates our demand. It is surprising that these projects have not been returned sofar despite the recommendations of C. Rangarajan Committee, Working Group constituted by the prime minister and interlocutors. We fail to understand that who else should now recommend the same, before the NHPC returns pour power projects? Similarly, the losses which the Jammu and Kashmir is regularly bearing due to the Indus Water Treaty should be compensated.”
The Faulty Public Distribution system has also invited the attention of the Third Front. “Every citizen has the right to food which needs to universalized and not targeted. In our state ration is being provided as per 2001 census instead of 2011. The demand to provide ration to all the families at RS 2 per Kg is justified. The least government can do is to provide ration on the basis of 2011 census. Any further delay is unwarranted.”
Similarly, the woes of displaced, migrants and released militants are increasing in absence of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan. “There seems the much hyped schemes for rehabilitation of youth who have shunned the path of violence are not working on ground. The loopholes need to be plugged.”
The Front has also expressed its dismay over the latest episode of communal clashes in Kishtwar. “This should not be taken in isolation as some divisive tendencies are increasingly emerging in our society which is not only a disturbing trend but has no place in our pluralistic ethos. These tendencies are fraught with dangerous consequences and should not be underestimated. The resilience of the people is who did not succumb to the nefarious designs of the vested interests is appreciable. Let there be no vacillation that the future of our state lies in diversity, brotherhood and communal harmony. The age old and time tested diversity of our state needs to be protected and preserved for our future.”