Resolving the Kashmir issue - III
17 March 2006
The Daily Times
By Dr Mubashir Hasan
Islamabad: If no change in the system of governance is agreed to, the law and order situation shall haunt the region Stable reunification of Jammu and Kashmir: With all the experience of the past, Pakistan, India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir should seriously consider the question of governance of the state as they work towards the resolution of the Kashmir issue. The future of peace and prosperity in a reunified state of Jammu and Kashmir shall greatly rest upon the extent to which a suitable structure of governance is evolved simultaneously with the gains of autonomy and reunification of the former state. If no change in the system of governance is agreed to through the ongoing peace process, the basic problem of the alienation between the people and the state shall remain unresolved as it has remained in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh during the last six decades. There shall be neither lasting peace nor prosperity. The raison d’etre for the potential of strife between racial, religious, sectarian and ethnic communities shall remain. The law and order situation shall haunt the governments of the proposed unified state as well as governments of India and Pakistan. Ethnic cleansing and state terrorism will be the by products. The future of peace between Pakistan and India shall remain in jeopardy. If the former state, comprising the divisions and districts of Srinagar, Jammu, Ladakh and Kargil and the areas lying to the west of the Line of Control are to be reunified as a single entity, all possible causes of rifts between one area and another will have to be addressed. In the newly reunified State of Jammu and Kashmir, there will have to be governments at several levels. At the apex, the executive authority of the government in Srinagar which shall be federal in character shall extend to the following subjects: 1. Relations with India and Pakistan. 2. Relations with other countries and international bodies in line with the agreement between Pakistan, India and the State of Jammu and Kashmir. 3. Armed units to come to the aid of civil power. 4. State Protector of human rights. 5. Customs duty recovered by India and Pakistan for goods received for inland transportation to the State. 6. Taxes on income. 7. Apex court to interpret constitution and adjudicate inter- provincial differences. 8. Immigration and emigration out of Jammu and Kashmir. 9. Currency, coinage. 10. Airports, aircrafts. 11. Banking. 12. Taxes on capital value of assets. 13. Laws of insurance. 14. Census. 15. Nuclear energy. 16. Indus waters as defined in the Indus Basin Treaty. 17. National Highways. 18. Laws pertaining to devolution of state power to local governments without resuming in its favour the power once devolved. 19. Assistance to provinces in law and order situations at the request of the provinces. 20. Elections and referendum at higher levels of the organs of the state.