No change to special status, will review AFSPA, reduce army: Congress in election manifesto

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Srinagar

The Congress Party in their election manifesto has said that ‘no constitutional change will be allowed in the special status of Jammu and Kashmir’.

Congress leaders release manifesto for 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress in manifesto also promised to review the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and reduction in the presence of Army and personnel of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in Valley.

“Congress promises to review the deployment of armed forces, move more troops to the border to stop infiltration completely, reduce the presence of the Army and CAPFs in the Kashmir Valley, and entrust more responsibility to the J&K police for maintaining law and order,” the party said in the manifesto released by Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Tuesday.

“The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and the Disturbed Areas Act in J&K will be reviewed. Suitable changes will be made in the text of the laws to balance the requirements of security and the protection of human rights,” the manifesto added.

The Congress said that “dialogue is the only way to understand the aspirations of the people” of the state and it will take the path that helps find an honourable solution to the issues of the people.

The Congress also said that they will appoint three new interlocutors if it was voted to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

“Congress promises to find such a solution through patient dialogue and talks with all stakeholders in the State. Congress promises the people of J&K talks without pre-conditions. We will appoint three interlocutors drawn from civil society to facilitate such talks,” reads the party’s election manifesto.

The INC, which released its election manifesto at its New Delhi party headquarters, said that Jammu and Kashmir and its problems deserve a large-hearted approach that will eschew muscular militarism and legalistic formulations and look for an innovative federal solution.

“We also acknowledge the unique history of the State and the unique circumstances under which the State acceded to India that led to the inclusion of Article 370 in the Constitution of India. Nothing will be done or allowed to change the Constitutional position,” read the manifesto.

“We are deeply concerned about the cases of discrimination and harassment of students, traders and others belonging to Jammu & Kashmir in the rest of India and we will ensure their safety and their right to study or do business,” read the manifesto.

Commenting on the current political situation in the state, the party said it will immediately hold assembly elections after coming to power in the state.

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