On a day union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde lauded people for fighting terrorism, the ruling National Conference (NC) reminded the Centre about its promise to restore autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir.
“Autonomy has to be restored in Jammu and Kashmir because it will provide antidote for an atmosphere of hostility and mistrust that has been created between India and Pakistan for the last six decades” said Tanvir Sadiq, spokesman of the NC.
National Conference government had passed the autonomy report in the Legislative Assembly on June 26, 2000, but it was summarily rejected by the then NDA government describing it as anti-national because it would have created a “state within the state”.
Under the autonomy resolution, Jammu and Kashmir shall enjoy complete autonomy, and only four issues -- defence, foreign policy, currency and communications-- will lie with the Centre.
“Continued political blunders, ignoring people’s democratic aspirations, erosion of constitution, disregarding autonomy report, offering occasional doles are the reasons for the mistrust of the people of the state towards policy makers of centre including BJP”, Sadiq said.
“Even separatist are toeing Omar Abdullah’s line because they have understood that the only workable solution for a lasting peace is the restoration of autonomy. This is the only constitutional document approved by the state legislature and is acceptable not only to Kashmir and Jammu but Ladakh too,” said Sadiq.
The NC statement came on the day when Shinde said time is not rife for the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the strife torn state. “We cannot take risk and revoke AFSPA (at this stage). However a stage will come soon when we can go for the reduction of the paramilitary forces,” he said.
Earlier union home minister paid the obeisance at the shrine of Sheikh-ul-Alam, Hazrat Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Wali at historic Charar-i-Sharief. It is the same shrine which was burnt in May 1995 during an encounter between security forces and holed up militants. Pakistani militant leader 'Major’ Mast Gul escaped from the scene and later surfaced in Pakistan.