Sunday, February 23, 2020

Ex-FM Bukhari back in business; knocks doors of Raj  Bhawan with ‘friends’

Straight Line News Network

JAMMU, Jan 7: Ex-Finance Minister Syed Altaf Bukhari who was accused of being close to RSS and BJP by ex-Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti when she was in power is back in the business.

He led a delegation of former Legislators and Politicians and met Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu at the Raj Bhavan here today. The meeting of the former Legislators and Politicians with the Lt Governor assumes significance as it has initiated political process and dialogue with the members of mainstream political parties of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Delegation comprised of Mohammad Dilawar Mir, former Minister; Ghulam Hassan Mir, President Democratic Party Nationalist; Zaffar Iqbal , former MLC ; former MLAs- Javed Hassan Beig, Noor Mohammad Shiekh; Choudhary Qamar Hussain and Raja Manzoor Ahmad. They submitted a memorandum to the Lt Governor regarding socio-economic and political aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

In a memorandum to Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu, political leaders including former ministers and MLAs have flagged measures that can be taken for meeting the political aspirations of the people.

The memorandum points out that since the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status embedded in Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories Jammu & Kashmir with a legislature and Ladakh without one, “the majority of its residents are yet to reconcile with this decision”.

“Although it is heartening that the Kashmir Valley remained peaceful and no fatalities were recorded due to enhanced security measures and other administrative efforts but the credit must go to the people of Jammu & Kashmir who showed extreme maturity while registering their peaceful protests,” the leaders added.

“Fact of the matter is that a majority of people in Jammu and Kashmir feel hurt and there are vocal concerns wherein they feel their decades-long privileges were unceremoniously curtailed,” they added. To win over the confidence of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre will have to re-examine its decades-old policies vis-a-vis Kashmir. Depending solely on security measures and dealing with people”s political aspirations through the law and order prism will always have the old tested repercussions, the leaders said.

The leaders have demanded the restoration of statehood including the establishment of a Legislative Council and providing reservation of seats for socially and economically backward classes, art, culture, languages, literature and sports.

“Annulment of this Article (Article 35-A) is the main reason behind the present discontentment among the people of Jammu & Kashmir. The constitutional and legal decisions taken on August 5 have been viewed by a significant number of population of Jammu and Kashmir as something like stripping them off from the rights over their land and other rightful holdings,” they added.

The leaders have sought domicile rights of people of Jammu and Kashmir. “This most important issue can be addressed by tangible legal and constitutional safeguards that can be put in place by virtue of which protection of domicile rights including that of reservation for the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir in the matter of employment and that of admissions to professional courses is ensured,” they added.

In addition, they have sought release of detainees arrested after August 5. “One of the psychological setbacks to a number of people in Kashmir is that their near and dear ones were detained around the August 5, 2019 decision. These people were not arrested for committing any violation of law, but were preventive detentions vis-a-vis law and order situation,” they said.

They have also sought restoration of Jammu and Kashmir Bank”s functional domain. So there is a dire need for some concrete, purpose oriented measures and interventions to restore the functional dominion of J&K Bank which holds a revered position in Jammu and Kashmir”s economic trajectory.

The other demands include withdrawing cases against youths, reviving agriculture and horticulture sectors, support for industry and manufacturing sector, tourism revival, relief for shopkeepers, bus owners, taxi owners, credit expansion, addressing unemployment, restoration of internet, national highway and regional connectivity, and augmentation of power projects.

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