NC’s Memorandum Gives Slip To AFSPA

Tasavur Mushtaq


Publicly Chief Minister Omar Abdullah along with his party cadres often mentions revocation of  Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and reiterates  party stand  to remove it in phased manner, but what surprised many Tuesday evening was when National Conference delegation  met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, presented memorandum, but demand to revoke AFSPA was missing.

From seeking restoration of autonomy, Indo-Pak talks, packages and reduction in air fares, the memorandum almost included everything.

Political analysts believe that it was deliberate attempt from NC to avoid AFSPA in its memorandum as it is up to NC  itself to block applicability of AFSPA by revoking Disturbed Areas Act (DAA) from J&K.

“It is only when the area has been declared disturbed, AFSPA can be applied to the area,” said law expert, Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain while talking to Kashmir Life over phone.

“So probably in anticipation of rebuff from that side the party has avoided mentioning AFSPA,” he added.

Many believe that raising issue of AFSPA revocation is just to gain public support.

“AFSPA issue is just to gain Public support, otherwise it is within the power of NC to stop its applicability,” said another observer wishing not to be named.

The memorandum submitted by delegation led by Member Parliament (MP) Dr Mehboob Beg Follows;

Memorandum submitted by the J&K National Conference delegation to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India

at SKICC on 25th of June, 2013

 1) Autonomy

Autonomy is the bed rock of the J&K National Conference and the National Conference is committed to the restoration of the Autonomy as guaranteed by the Constitution of India. A resolution in this regard was passed by the State Legislature by two-third majority there by making the Autonomy document a state document and the National Conference urges the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to kindly consider the Autonomy resolution and announce measures towards its restoration.

2) Reports of the Working Groups and the Group of Interlocutors

Time and again efforts have been made for the restoration of the Kashmir issue by the Union Government and in this regard constitution of working groups and group of Interlocutors were certain steps in this direction. The National Conference urges the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to consider the reports of the various Working Groups as also the Interlocutors report.

3) Indo Pak Talks

National Conference has always been a votary of cordial Indo Pak relations and urges the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to use his good offices to enter into a sustained and meaningful dialogue with Pakistan for peace and stability in the sub-continent.

4) Dialogue with all shades of opinion in this state

The Resolution of Kashmir issue and a permanent solution to it essentially requires an all inclusive approach and therefore, there is  a need to engage all stake holders irrespective of shade of opinion they represent because for sustainable lasting solution it is essential to evolve a consensus among different groups who represent different aspirations and the solution that emerges out of the dialogue should be a solution which should be acceptable to all the stake holders.

5) Trade and the movement across the LoC

Over the last couple of years the initiative of the Union Government to allow trade across the LoC and movement across the LoC has generated trade as well as people to people contact. National Conference urges the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to kindly take other measures in this regard to strengthen trade across the LoC and replace barter trade with the financial transaction to make it more transparent, healthier and aggressive as also to make the movement of the people across the LoC less cumbersome.

6) Opening of more routes

National Conference urges the Union Government to kindly open Jammu-Silakote, Kargil-Skardu, Nowshera-Changar, Sagra –Tatapani Mendla and  Titwal route.

7) Special Package for PoK Refugees

Special package for PoK Refugees of 1947, 1965 and 1971

8) Revision of special package for Kashmiri Migrants

The State government has already recommended enhancement of package of Kashmiri Migrants and same may kindly be considered favourably.

9) Package for earth quake affected areas

The National Conference demands a special package for relief and rehabilitation of earth quake victims in the areas affected by the earthquake in J&K.

10) Rehabilitation and return of misguided Kashmir youth from across the LoC

The National Conference demands that the process of rehabilitation and return of misguided Kashmiri youth who have gone across the LoC and have not indulged in any subversive activities, their return should be facilitated back to the state.

11) Special Recruitment package

Special package being militancy affected state in recruitment in Defence, Para-military forces, Central Govt Departments, Banks and other Central Govt Undertakings.

12) Reservation Policy

National Conference demands reservation for Paharies without disturbing the reservations to the Gujjars or any other community.

13) Extension in Railway Line

Extension of Railway line from Baramulla Kupwara and also lateral lines to all the tourist resorts in Kashmir Valley, Jammu-Poonch via Rajouri, Basholi-Bani-Kishtwar.

14) Transfer of power projects to State

Transfer of Power projects to the state particularly Dulhasti as per the Ranjarajan Committee report as also other power projects.

15) Special package for people of border areas

Special package for the rehabilitation and resettlement of the people living between the IB/LoC and the defence fence from Kathua, Rajouri, Poonch to Gurez.

16) Setting up of rail coach factory

Request for setting up of Rail coach factory in J&K.

17) Handing of International Airport

Handing over of the International Airport, Sriangar to the Civil authorities and shifting of defence Airbase to the Awantipora Airbase and allowing of direct flights from Srinagar to Jeddah.

18) Construction of Tunnels

The National Conference urges starting work of Singpora Vailo Tunnel, Doda-Kapran, Sudhmahadev-Marmat, Pir Ke Gali on the Mughal road, Sadhna Pass, Razdan Pass, Gulabgarh-Narbal-Shopian.  The National Conference further urges that the work of the Zojila Tunnel should be expedited.

19)  Upgradation of Kargil Airport

Upgradation and extension of Kagril Airport.

20) Reduction in air fares

Air fare for Leh- Srinagar (to and fro) is exorbitant and affects the tourist traffic. The National Conference demands that the Air fare should be controlled and regulated specially during the tourism season.

21) Resolution of Shahpur Barrage

Resolution of the Shahpur Kandi Barrage dispute between J&K the Punjab.

22) Setting up of Thermal power plant

Request for  establishment of 1000 Mega Watt Thermal Power plant in J&K


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