J&K rejects proposal for autonomy
Barring the ruling National Conference, all political outfits, separatists, people’s groups and intellectuals in Jammu and Kashmir rejected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s proposal to discuss autonomy within the constitution for the state.While separatists and PDP, the main opposition party in the state, said it will not provide a political solution, representatives of Ladakh and Jammu raised the fear of Balkanisation.
National Conference said only “greater autonomy” to Kashmir could provide a workable solution to undo present turmoil in the state. The Centre should act and restore the greater autonomy to J&K as it enjoyed prior to 1964, it said. NC chief Farooq Abdullah said in New Delhi, “We welcome the PM’s initiative on autonomy within the Constitution and I am hopeful that this will bring some peace to the Valley.” He said his party “will begin dialogue with other political parties in the state to bring a consensus on this issue.”Panun Kashmir, an outfit of displaced Kashmiri Pandits accused the PM of succumbing to “Muslim polity of Kashmir”. Dr Agnihekhar of the group said the PM’s proposal ignored the nationalist forces like people of Jammu, Ladakh and Pandits. “Autonomy, dilution of AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) and recognising only Muslim interests in the Valley will lead to division of the country,” Agnisekhar said.