PDP faces more rows over self-rule plan

18 April 2008
The Indian Express
Riyaz Wani

Srinagar: The issue of Pakistan currency in Kashmir may not be the only slogan PDP has up its sleeve. The party’s self-rule document, in fact, has a list of them that could follow with a huge potential for controversy. The party, which is going to take the currency issue to the Prime Minister, has already made a pitch for cross-border institutions across the Kashmir divide. During her speech at a recent Pugwash conference in Pakistan, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti called for a dual power-sharing arrangement “based on equal relationship between the people of Kashmir across the border” and its incorporation into the framework of Indian and Pakistan polity. The speech, Mufti later said, had only revealed “some parts” of the self-rule document. The “ideas”, as Mufti loves to call her proposals, are being made public with the purpose of setting in motion a debate. “What we are saying is not against the interests of both India and Pakistan. We say Kashmiris were not responsible for partition, but it is we who are paying the price. We have been imprisoned, our traditional routes of trade and commerce closed off,” Mufti said. On whether the currency issue was part of the PDP’s secret self-rule document, Mufti said yes. “Anything that empowers the people of Kashmir is part of our self-rule document,” Mufti said. “Our proposals are part of a step-by-step approach to Kashmir resolution. We will see the feedback before bringing the self-rule document into public domain.” However, after the currency issue plays itself out, the party is going ahead with even more controversial proposals which include the demand for the phase-out of central services in Kashmir, abolition of the application of Article 356 to J-K and a J-K Governor who is elected by the state legislature and the regional assemblies. Panther’s Party FIR accuses Mufti, PDP leaders of sedition JAMMU Panther’s Party on Friday filed an FIR against former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and other PDP leaders accusing them of waging war against the state by favouring a dual currency and “joint mechanism” with Pakistan to fight terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. It also demanded their arrest.