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 Autonomy to be a reality now--GK

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PostSubject: Autonomy to be a reality now--GK   Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:14 am

MUDDASIR ALI


Srinagar, Dec 24: A day after Prime Minister’s Working Group on Centre-State relations, headed by Justice S Saghir Ahmad submitted its report to the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, the ruling National Conference Wednesday said it would soon come up with a policy on the implementation of the recommendations.
“Our party has always maintained that time will come when New Delhi will have to re-consider the autonomy proposal,” senior NC leader and minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Sagar told reporters on the sidelines of a function organized by the party at its headquarter here to launch membership drive for Srinagar.
“Its rejection by the then BJP government was always going to be short-lived. The real success for NC will now be the implementation of the autonomy,” Sagar said.
He expressed gratitude to chairman of the Working Group, Justice S Saghir for recommending examination of autonomy.
Sagar said the party leadership would sit with its president, Dr Farooq Abdullah soon and work out a policy towards implementation of autonomy.
Pertinently, Prime Minister’s Working Group on Centre-State relations, in its report submitted yesterday had said: “The question of autonomy and its demand by the National Conference can be examined in the light of the Kashmir Accord or in some other manner or on the basis of some other formula as the Prime Minister may deem fit and appropriate so as to restore the autonomy to the extent possible.”
National Conference government had passed the autonomy report in the Legislative Assembly on June 26, 2000, but the then BJP led NDA government rejected the proposal saying, “It would create a state within the state.”
On being reminded that separatists have already rejected the autonomy proposal, Sagar said, “If there is any better solution than autonomy and is acceptable to people of Jammu and Kashmir, we will support it.”
Sagar said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had vigorously demanded that the recommendations of the WG should be made public.
Sagar said the WG report had clearly mentioned that PDP’s Self Rule is an ‘oral document.’ “Our stand has been vindicated. Self-Rule is no document but a part of autonomy. It was PDP’s propaganda to scuttle NC’s proposal,” he added.
If National Conference’s proposal is implemented, J&K would enjoy complete autonomy and only defence, foreign policy, currency and communications would lie with the Centre. Besides, the nomenclature of Chief Minister and Governor would be changed to prime minister and Sadr-e-Riyasat. Under the autonomous status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir in 1951, the state has its own constitution, flag and residuary powers.
Earlier, NC General Secretary, Sheikh Nazir urged party workers to work for strengthening the party. He said it was only the people of the state who have the right to decide its future. “India has already split into three parts--India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Who knows, what will happen in future given the condition in many of its States,” Nazir said.
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