Centre for Peace & Progress writes to PM Modi: ‘Restore statehood, hold elections’
Srinagar, June 21, KNT: Delhi-based track 2 think tank ‘Centre for Peace and Progress’ in a communique to Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pitched for the early elections and restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir.
Centre for Peace and Progress’ headed by track 2 diplomat OP Shaw in his letter to PM Modi stated that during a seminar in which a cross-section of people from Jammu and Kashmir participated and gave their varied opinion. Except for a lady from the Pandit community, they unanimously expressed concern that the abrogation of Article 370 & Article 35A was carried out without the involvement of the people of erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir & in the absence of their elected representatives. They described the action as Constitutional Impropriety that undermined commitments made by successive governments & the architects of accession without regard for history. They emphasized that the downgrading of the state & its division has led to marginalization& dissatisfaction among the people of J&K.
The letter reads that the denial of Democratic Rights & the absence of Assembly elections were seen as disempowering factors, causing distress & deepening the existing trust deficit.
There was near unanimity that peace continued to elude the region & violence still claimed innocent lives. This indicated a lack of clear policy for sustainable peace & security.
The letter as per the news agency Kashmir News Trust mentions that the economic distress, denial of the audience, political disempowerment, communalization of J&K, unfulfilled commitments made in Parliament, failure to acknowledge ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits, failure to compensate the community socially, politically & economically & failure to ensure their safe return & rehabilitation, excessive use of state power to suppress the voice of the people & the absence of dialogue were identified as contributing factors to a sense of alienation, fear & a deficit of trust among the populace.
The letter to PM Modi pitches for restoration of statehood, holding Assembly elections without any delay, facilitating legal disposal of cases on Article 370 & Article 35A, addressing unemployment & distressing economy, return and rehabilitation of Pandits, fostering dialogue and reconciliation and focus on sustainable peace.
The speakers who voiced their concern on the current scenario in Jammu and Kashmir include former Mani Shankar Ayar, Muzafar Ahmed Shah, Aarti Tikoo, Angad Singh Khalsa, Ashai Sheeban, Aadil Nazir Khan, G.K. Mujju, Harsh Dev Singh, I.D Khajuria, Kapil Kak, Advocate Nandita Haskar, Nizamuddin Bhat, Tanvir Sadiq, Tasleem Rehmani and Waqar Bhatti. [KNT]