January 17, 2010 • 7:55 pm
5th Working group report in a way demonstrates regional bias
BY DAYA SAGAR
Report of the Working Group headed by Retd Justice S Saghir Ahmad ( constituted by Indian Prime Minister in May 2006 ) that was presented to JK Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at Jammu on 23 rd December last year demonstrated the confusions that Justice Saghir Ahmed carried. Ofcourse the WG report does not have much useful text on the subjects that related to Centre State relations . Kashmiri over ground separatists did not participate in any of the working group meeting as well as three Round Table Conferences chaired by Prime Minister. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah presented the report to Prime Minister on 30 December. Omar Abdullah has still suggested that Centre should hold dialogue with political parties on the issue of Autonomy and other issues. But the report has failed to even settle the questions being raised by mainstream groups like NC, PDP, BJP, JKNPP, BSP, etc. After having spent over two and half years the Chairman of the WG has in a way still asked the J&K Chief Minister to study the prime referral issues, work out road maps for the State Assembly and the Government of India for consideration where ever deemed fit or practicable. In case the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had to do this, then , what was the Working Group doing. This way the process of constituting committees and groups would go on till when, no one can tell this day.. 5th Working group report has in a way demonstrated that regional bias exists.
The report is full of regional divides. A separate university has been recommended for Ladakh. A Dogri TV Channel on the lines of Kashir Channel in Kashmir Valley has been recommended for Jammu region. Upgradation of Government College of Engineering Jammu to the level of IIT has been recommended . Simultaneously upgradation of NIT Srinagar to the level of IIT has been recommended.
Have not regional considerations influenced Saghir Ahmed decisions concerning J&K? If so, then from Saghir Ahmed report atleast message should go to Delhi that J&K needs some architecture keeping in view distinct regional needs of J&K. Before 1947 also Maharaja had managed State on similar lines.
Any how the summary of the text of the report as was disclosed through sources did demonstrate the pressures the ruling coalition government in J&K is facing from the 3 regions of J&K in addition to the separatists.
The report has made just passing references to Greater Autonomy of NC, Autonomy Resolution 2000 of J&K Assembly, Self Rule of PDP and Article 370 .There is nothing new in the report about these subjects. Only thing that could emerge is that National Conference and PDP could use some passing references to keep the people of Kashmir Region in illusions as regards future of centre state relations .In view of the non serious approach of the GOI regarding the questions raised on the accession of J&K with India or the talks of some conditional accession, it has to be accepted that for a common man of J&K ( particularly Kashmir valley ) there is some thing still pending as regards deciding the relations between Indian and Kashmir ( J&K State of Hari Singh ). So, it was only the reference to Autonomy / Self Rule / Article 370 that did matter as regards Kashmir Valley to those in power seat. No objections have been made from the leaders from Kashmir Valley to the text of the report concerning subjects like Autonomy / Self Rule / Article 370 .
Most of the other issues that the Working Group Report has referred to ( even beyond the scope of terms of reference ) too have only regional implications . Rather the report as it pertains to some important issues has gone against all the aspirations and demands of two regions of J&K ( Jammu and Ladakh regions). So it were the people from Jammu and Ladakh Regions who had some thing to react. It also appeared from the report that the local and economic issues demanding consideration in J&K pertained to areas that fell outside Kashmir Valley ( Jammu and Ladakh Regions ). For Kashmir Valley the Kashmiri leaders had to discuss only center state relations and nothing else.
Democratic uniformity subjects like
(*Daya Sagar is a senior coloumnist on Jammu &Kashmir Affairs, dayasagr45 @yahoo.com )
Filed under: Articles by Daya Sagar, Discriminations with Jammu, Jammu blog, Jammu Emotions
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