20 Feb 2018 16:42:01


Daya Sagar


In recent years the RTCs, Working Groups, interlocutors and study groups too have only concentrated more on Kashmir valley.


The reasons could be seen in the fact that all these 6 decades New Delhi has looked at only Kashmir valley. So, any official group visiting from Delhi is keen to meet the separatist elements who do not show any interest. Whereas those who hail from Jammu Ladakh region are not received well by the groups/ Interlocutors on J&K (may be the preliminary inputs they receive before taking up the ground work demand such like approach).


Hence it could be inferred that even the study groups, point men on J&K and interlocutors too do not appear that serious. To quote Man Mohan Singh, Prime Minister of India had appointed 5 working Groups on J&K in 2006 (The Prime Minister, Man Mohan Singh during UPA-1 Government had set up five working groups on Jammu and Kashmir on May 25, 2006, at the end of the second multi-party RTC at Srinagar. The first and third RTCs were held at New Delhi on 25/02/2006 and 25/04/2007).


One of the working group (5th WG Strengthening Relations Between The State and The Centre) was headed by Justice S. Saghir Ahmed (Ex Chief Justice of J&K HC & Andhra Pradesh HC and Retd Judge of Supreme Court of India). To demonstrate that Government of India appears to be caught in web of confusions and indecisiveness Justice Saghir Ahmed report is a very good representative sample of non-seriousness towards J&K affairs.


In the first meeting of the S. Saghir Ahmed WG held on 12th Dec 2006 Chairman made it clear that the WG was not to concern with the dispute between India and Pakistan pertaining to State of J&K and therefore/ WG would confine itself to the consideration of the questions relating to Centre-State relations with in the frame work of the Constitution of India. So in view of the terms of reference the subjects before the WG were like Autonomy (NC demand), Self Rule (JK PDP demand), Article 370.The WG report was signed by the Chairman on 18 Dec 2009 (report was presented at Jammu to J&K CM Omar Abdullah on 23rd Dec 2009 by the Secretary of the Group Mr. Ajit Kumar) (three years after the first meeting).


So strangely the WG report did not particularly dispose of the Autonomy Demand/ J&K Assembly Autonomy Resolution June 2000 in even minimum specific terms {to quote the report said (i) Article370 of Constitution of India; The matter being 60 years old should be settled once for all. On page 10 para 3 of report a reference of Supreme Court case Sampath Prakash has been made from the submission made by PDP through MH Baig before the WG.

But the report still made casual remarks on Art 370 (ii) the report in the summary recommendations say that the autonomy demand could be examined in the light of Kashmir Accord or in some other manner or on the basis of some other formulae as the present Prime Minister may deem fit and appropriate so as to restore the autonomy to the extent possible. Here the question is why did the Chairman Ex Judge not examine at his level and make specific recommendations. He left the issue still open after spending 3 years. (iii) As regards PDP demand of Self Rule at para 3 of the Summary recommendations the report says that on behalf of PDP Mr. Baig explained orally the concept of Self Rule but the Self Rule as proposed by PDP could not be considered in all its detail as the document containing the various aspects of Self Rule were not provided to WG as promised by PDP. How funny PDP had by that time released concept Self Rule.


Document dated October 2008 on 25 Oct 2008 in Press Conference at Srinagar and also posted on its website. Question is that Still the WG report did not examine /drop the demand of Self Rule and instead laid down that it requires to be considered by Central Government if and when approached (by PDP) with documents.


The Document released by PDP had sufficient contents that concern the Accession 1947 / Indo Pak relations / POK and the Saghir Ahmed report should have made its observations on the demand being conceptually within the scope of terms of reference of the WG or within the Indian Constitution or otherwise. But the WG took it so casually. Justice Saghir Ahmed report is a very good representative sample to demonstrate the non-seriousness towards J&K affairs at the prime levels.


I would ask who would bear the cost of finances spent over 3 years and the valuable three years lost by people of J&K hopefully hoping to listen something concrete from Justice Saghir Ahmed. The reference agenda was not attended and volume of report was compiled with items outside the terms of reference. What was the need to submit the REPORT with no material worth reporting as regards the terms of reference?


Government of India appears to be in a state of worst web of confusions and indecisiveness. The mass migration of Kashmiri Hindu and return of Migrants to Valley does not appear as first priority for GOI even after 21 years. Instead those a few who question the validity 1947 accession of J&K with India appear receiving compassionate attention of New Delhi.

Going through the facts, one may raise the question - can Mufti Mohd Sayeed (Ex Union Home Minister)'s J&K PDP be regarded as a main stream Indian political party?


[This article is an extract from the book “A Look Through the Mist: PDP Self Rule” authored by Sh. Daya Sagar. Further chapters of this book will be covered later in a series.]



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