Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How fair Is PDP a “mainstream party” posing to compete with NC’s Greater Autonomy in the name of Self Rule ? By *Daya Sagar

A Look Through the Mist
No one appears to be serious for immediate settlement of J&K turmoil
How fair Is PDP a “mainstream party” posing to compete with NC’s Greater Autonomy in the name of Self Rule ? By *Daya Sagar

In Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Mohd Sayeed has the first rival in National Conference. No
doubt so far NC has held firm to 1947 accession of J&K with India. No doubt NC has been expressing
reservations regarding the Center State relations. Mirza Afzal Baig had lead the Plebiscite Front that was
later disbanded after 1975 Indira Sheikh Accord. Confusions and anti India concepts did nurish more
further since even after 1990 no sincere efforts were made by New Delhi and local political cadres in
Kashmir valley to check the separatist ideologists. Governments have not been able to reverse the
1989/ 90 mass migration from Kashmir valley Due to this the local information bank of the people
left back in Kashmir valley has surely moved some distance from oneness with India. Rather it could
also be inferred that some so called mainstream elements too advocate separatist view points /
demands. National Conference had already passed a “Greater Autonomy Resolution in 1994’ . Later NC
lead government had got a resolution on similar lines passed by J&K Assembly in 2000. In simple words
the June 2000 Autonomy Resolution of JK Legislative Assembly is more understood by common man as
moving to pre 1953 constitutional position. Under the circumstances the separatists/ those who talked of
referendum or plebiscite did not have much opposition to face.
So Mufti Mohd Sayeed too found it saleable for coming up with “Self Rule promise”. Some people
named PDP Self Rule as replica of the formulae that Pak President Parvez Musharraf is said to have
suggested . Mufti Mohd Sayeed has not so far out rightly rejected such allegations.
Congress lead Government at New Delhi too did not distance from PDP and kept on sharing power
in JK with PDP till 200 8. It was here that PDP got encouraged and to out beat National Conference it
suggested that (i) the currencies of both India and Pakistan should be used in J&K and PAK ( POK) (ii)
there should be common control of Indian and Pakistan on certain subjects as would pertain to J&K and
PAK (POK). PDP even used the term Pakistan Administered Kashmir in place of Pakistan Occupied
Kashmir and New Delhi still “recognizes “ PDP as main stream political party. May be now need has
arisen to even rework the definition of a main stream political party.
In Kashmir Valley PDP did succeed in sentimentally exploiting the innocent Kashmiri masses in particular
and in 2008 assembly elections proved tough on Congress & NC. PDP did not dare to adopt openly
anti accession approach like JKLF / Hurriyat since that way it would lose chances of power rides. PDP did
not refute accession in plain words but it asked some thing like joint control of India & Pakistan
over J&K well knowing that it was not possible without out undoing 1947 accession with India.
After having established some roots in Kashmir, PDP leaders understood that to remain in the political
power race ( local) PDP has to make its stand on the 1947 Accession clear so that even the “blunt”
sword of New Delhi does not fall on its head. So it was after more than 5 years that Mehbooba Mufti
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tried to introduce PDP Self Rule with in the scope of 1947 Instrument of Accession and the
Constitution of India. But still to people of J&K ( Kashmir Valley in particular ) PDP has introduced
Self Rule more a personal rule of Kashmiries than the Greater autonomy of National Conference.
PDP has very cleverly taken to with 1947 Accession talk track after having sufficiently exploited the
sentiments / emotions of innocent Kashmiri around Pakistan/ Two Nation theory. PDP has even succeeded
in setting some working roots in Jammu region. Under the circumstances to compete with Mehbooba
Mufti politically now Omar Abdullah too is playing soft on the separatists and separatist
ideologies .
The Mehbooba Mufti and Mufti Mohd Sayeed have been wisely changing tracks to retain the
goodwill of the common Kashmiri masses as well as those at New Delhi. PDP leadership also wants
to remain at the international scene not much behind the separatists and hence occasionally also
advocates early settlement of Kashmir issue (dispute ).
It was on 9th July2009 that Peoples Democratic Party in a special meeting where Party Patron Mufti
Mohammad Sayeed, Party presidentMehbooba Mufti and Muzaffar Hussain Baig were present
expressed that PDP Self Rule flows through Article 370 and Instrument of Accession.

Introducing the Self Rule Muzaffar Hussain Baig said

 (i) “Self rule was provided to the State in Instrument of Accession but later on it was snatched and taken back from Jammu Kashmir by the Government of India, 
(ii) PDP now wants it to be back ,
 (iii) even the sovereignty of the State was maintained in Delhi agreement made
between Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and GOI (Jawahar Lal Nehru ) and
 (iv) it was agreed by GOI that
the controversial Article 356 of Indian Constitution won’t be applicable to JK by which New Delhi has the
powers to dismiss an elected State government”. As regards some constitutional roll backs demanded by
PDP ( Article 356, application of Article 357 by which New Delhi has powers to make legislation in place of State legislature, Article 249 of Indian Constitution (by which New-Delhi can legislate on JK, Constitutional Order 101 was promulgated by the President under Article 370 adding Clause 4 in Article 368 prohibiting JK from changing the powers or privileges of Governor , Article 312 dealing with ‘All India Services’ , deletion of words ‘temporary’ from Article 370, and like ) a legitimate debate could be allowed with out
any questions on the Accession 1947 and Nationality of Kashmiri being India. But the style of references
made to 1947 Accession , Pakistan Occupied Kashmir as Pak Administered Kashmir , use of both Indo Pak
currencies in only J&K and dual Indo Pak control on some local matters pertaining to J&K and Pak held
part of J&K no where qualify to be within the scope of 1947 Accession and article 370 of constitution of
India . Such demands and explanations for Self Rule surely push PDP out of the scope to qualify as
a mainstream political party of India ( While talking to newsmen M. H Baig had said “Self Rule addresses the problem of JK in four different dimensions, which includes New Delhi-State relations; relations between the two divided parts of JK, resource sharing including trade, transport and other issues; relations between Pakistan and PaK and Inter-regional and sub-regional issues” ) .

( PDP claims that in 1947 it was envisioned that the final decision regarding accession has to be reached by the State Constituent Assembly and later on Constituent Assembly ratified Instrument of Accession, so now there is no need to have the word ‘temporary’ along with Article 370 ).

.No doubt National Conference did ask for Greater Autonomy but never went for a mass agitation
movement. So , Kashmir today is disturbed not for implementation of autonomy resolution2000. Neither
NC did much of work to carry the message of greater autonomy to ground level masses , particularly in
Jammu and Ladakh Regions. The same has been the case with the Self Rule of PDP. Kashmiries are not
agitating and protesting demanding PDP Self Rule . PDP well knows that t its Self Rule Road map
for peace would not fit in the frame 1947 accession and Indian constitution. But surely with such
approach PDP has created some extra pressures on NC in Kashmir valley.

Now PDP has started comparing its Self Rule with Greater Autonomy of NC.. People in Kashmir valley
are too simple to understand the technicalities and rhetoric.

The separatist ideologies are being carried ( though mildly) by PDP vociferously indirectly taking
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support from slogans of Kashmiriat / erosion of autonomy, 1952 Delhi Agreement, 1975 Indira Sheikh
accord and 1987 Rajiv Farooq Accord. Kashmiries have also seen Farooq (Abdullah) &. ( 0mar ) Farooq accord.

Experiences have shown that some Kashmiri leaders will do their best to keep New Delhi under pressure
for money and power. Separatists too need some social survival and the pro separatist actions of
some ‘main stream” parties would surely allow them to defer violent protests/ approach. In case
PDP is so loyal to the cause of the people of J&K ( Kashmiries ) why does not it work for an “alloy” of
Greater Autonomy and Self Rule with in the provisions of only Indian Constitution? Any how Kashmiri
leaders will keep on saying that India and Pakistan should settle the Kashmir ( J&K) affairs with due
participation of Kashmiries including separatists. In principle they keep their priority only on Kashmir Valley centric requirements . No doubt they do pose looking for some solution for governance taking the people of all the regions of J&K in confidence. So ,on the face of it they do not appear to be serious for any immediate solution since to majority of Kashmiri leaders more benefit appears in continuing confusions / uncertainty and not in settlement of any doubts /

*( Daya Sagar is social activist and leading scribe on Kashmir affairs)

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