Manmohan-led group to face tough questions over failure to keep Kashmir `settlement’ promises
The Congress party’s Policy Planning Group led by former Prime Minister (PM), DrManmohan Singh, will face tough questions during its visit to Kashmir over the party’s failure to implement the recommendations over political resolution of Kashmir problem made by Working Groups and Interlocutors during its rule in state.
Manmohan Singh led group will visit Kashmir on a two day visit beginningSeptember 16. Others in the group include former Union Ministers, P Chidambaram, GhulamNabi Azad and AmbikaSoni. The group has already faced a tough time in Jammu on Sunday after meeting different sections people and political parties who questioned its inability to implement different recommendations, sources said.
Political experts said that the Congress delegation will faces questions from allowing the erosion of special status of Jammu and Kashmir to the failure to implement the interlocutors report.
Congress leaders may have to face tough time for failing to implement its own promises and recommendations made during its government in the state. Congress failed to implement the working group recommendations which were constituted during the time of Chief Minister, GhulamNabi Azad between 2005 to 2008. Subsequently in 2010 Congress party failed to implement the report of its own interlocutors. The interlocturers were appointed in 2010 after 120 people were killed in the mass uprising here.
Civil society activist, ShakeelQalander, who was part of a Working Group head by Dr C Rangarajan, said that “ After a proper study by all the working groups, it was impressed upon the Congress government to return some NHPC run power projects. But that never happened.” DrRangarajan was the chairman of a working group to deliberate on balanced economic development and employment generation. Similarly, according to Qalander, recommendations of another Working group which was constituted to evolve a solution for the political problem of Kashmir were also not implemented. On July 2006,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had himself announced at the conclusion of the second roundtable conference that five working groups would be formed to look into broad issues and problems vis-a-vis Kashmir. Former Chief Justice of India Justice A M Ahmadi had accepted to be the chairman of a working group to deliberate on matters relating to the special status to Jammu and Kashmir within the India Union and methods of strengthening democracy, secularism and the rule of law in the state.
Qalander said Congress is the main “culprit behind the Kashmir problem.’’ “They are the people who negotiated our accession. They are the people who eroded our special status given to the state of J&K under the conditions of accession’’ he said, while referingto Congress. Qalandar said that Congress should impress on people of India and that Jammu and Kashmir has not integrated with India.
“ We had proposed schemes like UDAAN, Himayat and Prime Minsters Scholarship Scheme, which are however running into rough weather as they were not implemented in a manner the committee had proposed.’’
Qalanadar also blamed Congress party for deceitfully extending 46 laws to the state of J&K. “Otherwise according to the conditions of accession, GoI can extend laws only related to the matters of communication, defence and foreign affairs. But Congress party over the years eroded the special position of J&K,” he added.
Noted political commentator Professor Noor Ahmad Baba, however said that there was a marked difference between the Congress lead by old guard and the current Congress leadership. Attaching signficance to the vist of PM-led group’s visit to Kashmir, he said, “Some leaders in the Congress have realized that there is a problem in Kashmir. It was the Congress that gave special status to J&K, and they also are responsible for its erosion,” he said.
Baba said, the Congress party seems to have realized now that further erosions to the special status of J&K can’t be afforded. “When the erosion was taking place, Kashmir was peaceful, now the situation has changed. It is turbulent now. Congress can’t afford to lose it further, so they have taken this position, he added.
“J&K actually enjoyed a semi-sovereign status within Indian union. There is no scope of talks until India restores the special status of J&K to its originality,” said DrIrshad, a young columnist.