Special Status Of J&K Has Been Diluted: PDP
26 August 2006
The Times of India
Srinagar: The special status conferred to Jammu and Kashmir under article 370 of the constitution has been diluted over a period of time by successive governments at the Centre, a senior PDP leader claimed on Saturday. 'Despite the guarantees enshrined in the article and reaffirmed by then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru the successive regimes in Delhi, unfortunately, did not stand by those guarantees resulting in the steady erosion of the state's special status,' Minister for forests in the coalition government headed by Congress Tariq Hameed Qarrah said. Speaking at the three-day conference on Indian Federalism, organised by New Delhi-based Institute of Social Sciences in collaboration with University of Kashmir, Qarrah said Kashmir's identity could neither be recognized in a desired manner nor handled carefully, 'The 2002 assembly elections proved a threshold in state politics and people started reposing faith in the democratic institutions,' he said adding the coalition government has channelized this renewed public faith towards creating a conducive atmosphere for tackling Kashmir issue. These include relief in security scenario, curbs on human rights violations, new thrust on infrastructure development and various other administrative measures. The minister said the process of opening up of all the traditional routes along the Line of Control and International Border had already started and routes opened for optimum commercial and free passenger activity.