Cong For Restructure Of J-K Constitution, More LoC CBMs

16 November 2008

Jammu: The Congress today promised restructuring of the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, making it a federal state by setting up separate regional councils for Kashmir and Jammu regions. The party also committed itself to speed up cross-border confidence building measures (CBMs) by ensuring banking and communication facilities and reopening of four trans LoC routes between the two parts of the state. 'When elected to power, the party will restructure the constitution of the state into a federal one by setting up separate regional councils for Kashmir and Jammu regions and further decentralisation and devolution of powers to district and block level councils to ensure effective participation of people in democratic system,' JKPCC chief Saifuddin Soz said here. Soz also the union water resources minister, speaking after releasing party manifesto, said, 'this constitutional mechanism will guarantee unity and integrity of regions and the state.' The Congress, Soz said, remained fully committed to the comprehensive devolution of power to the state so that people would be free to realise their full potential. Over the Kashmir issue, the manifesto said: The party stands to promote and strengthen process of 'result-oriented dialogue' with all stakeholders. The party also vowed to take initiatives for confidence building measures to promote cross LoC travel and trade. To attain this, it would seek to streamline procedures of travel across the LoC, Soz said. In implementing these reforms, the party would ensure availability of banking and communication services. It would make efforts to open five trans-LoC routes of Kargil-Skardoo, Nobra-Turtak-Askardo, Damchok-Kailash Mansarovar and Jammu-Sialkot and Jhangar-Mirpur roads, the manifesto said. Ahead of the polls, the Congress promised to review the cases of detainees, who are not involved in grave offences. J&K Panchayati Raj Act would be amended, if voted to power, to bring in conformity with the provisions as contained in the 73rd amendment of country's constitution. The party would implement the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission to bring relief to the service class. The Congress also promised an employment package for category class-IV, daily-wage workers and casual labourers.