In an editorial note daily Nida-i-Mashriq writes that autonomous status means independence, but restoration of autonomy means, securing of constitutional safeguards, limiting centre’s jurisdiction to the subjects mentioned in the Accession document. Previous interlocutors had also recommended restoration of autonomy. According to daily the idea should be given a trial.


Autonomous status means independence:

“Many cases have been registered against Dr. Farooq Abdullah for prosecuting him on charges of being a traitor, because of his recent statement on PoK (AJK). For a politician, cases being filed on political issues are a routine. But what is to be seen is how much are the cases based on ground reality or historical facts. Recently, Dr. Farooq Abdullah has stressed his party’s views and stand on restoration of autonomy and has pointed out that it is the only option for solution to Kashmir problem. However, party says if there is any other acceptable solution, it would not object.BJP, Sangh Parivar, Jammu based parties, a faction of Congress and migrant Kashmiri Pandits consider demanding of autonomy to be equivalent to supporting separatist views. But the tragedy is that all these sections are not able to differentiate between restoration of autonomy and demand for autonomous status. These are two different issues. National Conference is not demanding independence or autonomous status but restoration of autonomy that Congress leadership eroded i.e. democratic structure in Kashmir, Constitutional safeguards and fulfillment of promises or assurances made by New Delhi in national and international forums, in the context of Kashmir’s  Accession to India and Delhi Agreement. Of course, today non-Congress government is in power. But transfer of power from one party to another, does not mean that historical facts should be distorted and wrong and fictional tales be used to mislead public opinion, Art 370 of Constitution. Delhi Agreement, several rounds of negotiations with Pakistan on all disputes including Kashmir, clearly point out that Kashmir’s status and related issues are connected with historical facts, which have not been effaced from history, inspite of efforts having been made”.

Restoration of autonomy: A relevant issue:

“If demand for restoration of autonomy had not been in keeping with ground realities, then Justice Sagir Ahmad would not have recommended it. Again the report of Padgaonkar-led team of interlocutors (with Radha Kumar and M M Ansari) would not have talked about it. If Congress leadership had not betrayed people of Kashmir, Kashmir Assembly would not have passed a resolution on restoration of autonomy. This report had specifically mentioned that a Committee should be formed to review the Central laws enforced in Kashmir. It had recommended the word ‘provisional’ should be replaced by ‘special’ in Art 370, as in the case of Assam, Nagaland, Andhra Pradesh. Moreover, that only such central laws should be enforced in state that are related to security, economic issues, especially energy and water resources. It had also recommended the mode of appointment of Governor by President should be changed and state given the power to recommend three persons for post and then President could appoint one of those. It had also recommended that separate regional councils be formed for Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir with Legislative, financial and executive powers. This report-cum-recommendations makes it clear that autonomy has been a fundamental reality for Kashmir and its restoration is an issue that has relevance and significance. It can in no way be called betrayal or anti-national act. Nevertheless, it can’t be said with certainty whether restoration of autonomy can bring about a change or tranquility in Kashmir’s political scenario. But substantial sections of people believe in autonomy. If so many experiments have been tried in Kashmir, there is no harm in giving it (autonomy) a trial. Only two sections are opposing this, Kashmiri Pandit migrant’s self-styled Panun Kashmir and shepherd group led by Congress leader Gani Vakil.”


[Courtesy: Urdu Daily Nida-i-Mashriq, Srinagar, Kashmir; November 19, 2017].

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