February 2000 News

Kar favours Farooq call for autonomy

15 February 2000
Daily Excelsior

SRINAGAR: Senior Congress leader and former Member Parliament, Mr Ghulam Rasool Kar today supported Farooq Abdullah’s demand for internal autonomy and asked the Centre for granting the same to Jammu and Kashmir, as it shall not only create a congenial atmosphere for peace and normalcy but will put the state back on the road of permanent peace, normalcy and progress.

In an about turn to his earlier statement opposing Autonomy Committee recommendations on the plea that these were "unilateral", Mr Kar at a press conference here stressed that Centre should consider the Autonomy Report submitted by the State Government seriously and take effective steps in this direction.

He further urged the people of Jammu and Ladakh to support autonomy demand, for what he said , was the only way to ensure prosperity of all the three regions of the State.

Mr Kar had earlier opposed the autonomy committee recommendations saying they are unilateral in nature as no opposition leader was associated with the committee except National Conference.

Today, he, however, appealed to all secular and nationalist forces in the state to support the Government in getting autonomy . "Differences if any could be resolved through debate and discussions but people of Jammu and Ladakh should adopt themselves to the changed circumstances and play constructive role in bringing normalcy and peace in the entire state", he said.

Mr Kar said autonomy within the Constitution does not mean separation but will further strengthen the bond between the state and rest of the country.

Grant of autonomy will not alter accession of Kashmir with India but shall prove a weapon to win over the hearts of the alienated people of Kashmir, he claimed.

He recalled that during Narasimha Rao’s Prime Ministership, he had himself committed that total internal autonomy, " as high as sky itself" would be granted to the people of the State. India should fulfill Rao’s commitment, he asserted.

The former PCC-I chief asked Prime Minister A B Vajpayee to understand the gravity of the situation and accept the Autonomy Committee report in toto.

Expressing concern over the " accesses" by gun wielding agencies, Mr Kar urged upon the Chief Minister Dr Abdullah , who also holds the portfolio of the Home Minister ,to personally intervene and ensure that incidents like that of Pattan, Bandipora and Warpora are not repeated.

He also listed the demands of the people of the Valley, which include better electricity facility, free ration and subsidised pump sets to the drought affected people of the State.


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