Referendum In J&K Not Binding On India: Beig

15 November 2009
The Daily Excelsior
Gopal Sharma

Srinagar: Former Deputy Chief Minister and senior PDP leader, Muzaffar Hussain Beig has said that holding referendum in Jammu and Kashmir as demanded by Pakistan and some separatist groups is no binding on the Government of India and the resolution of Jammu and Kashmir issue was not possible without involving Pakistan. Addressing a large gathering in a seminar organised by PDP leadership on the topic, ' Is self rule a way forward to the resolution of J&K problem', the former DyCM said after accession of Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India, the Pakistan and some separatists demanded referrendum in the State. The then Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru took up the issue with the United Nations Security Council. Mr Beig pointed out that this issue was taken up under Chapter 6 of the UN’s Security Council Charter and it is considered as a sort of demand or ‘Sifarishnama’. 'UN Security Council or any other country or group can’t force India to go in for referendum. And if it would have been moved to the United Nations under Chapter 7 of the Charter, then it would have been a binding on India, like whatever happened in Bosnia or Iraq,' the PDP leader maintained. Apparently going soft on some issues and woo the people of Jammu region on the Self- Rule formula, the PDP leader said that it was infact a vision of the then Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir regarding Self Rule. Parvez Musharaf inherited the same Self Rule formula from Maharaja’s document ‘Instrument of Accession’. Three subjects defence, communication and foreign affairs remained as domain of Union of India while rest with the State Government. He said the PDP wants to seek public opinion by holding debates in all the regions of the State including Ladakh and Jammu. 'We do not want to impose this formula or opinion on people. It is not a proprietary of PDP. Any good suggestion from any quarter is always welcome. Anything can be added or subtracted in this document. We have endorsed the vision of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh of making LoC irrelevant, allowing free movement of people on the either side and free trade across the LoC. We want opening of all the old routes including Skardu-Gilgit, Mirpur-Kotli and Nowshera and Jammu- Sialkot and free movement of people on state subject and I-card across the LoC,' Mr Beig added. Terming the demand of some separatists of Azadi as unrealistic, the senior PDP leader said that people had two options either to go with India or Pakistan and that was the choice before them at one point of time. He said both countries are equipped with Nuclear power today. They have waged three wars. Terrorism has caused lot of bloodshed and brought destruction. People want peace and development. It is perhaps very very difficult to go back to earlier position of 1947 when we had an area of 84,000 sq miles. He however, advocated the involvement of Pakistan while seeking resolution of J&K problem and said that self Rule gives a roadmap for the resolution of this issue which we do not want to pass on to our generations. Mr Beig said terrorism which started from that side of the LoC in 1989 has engulfed even Pakistan now. The country which played with the ‘fire’ (terrorism) now facing its heat. Pakistan is at the verge of disintegration and fighting with Talibans with the help of US. He said both India and Pakistan has the capacity to fight unitedly against terrorism and our neighbour should realise it. Commenting on the Self Rule document, Mr Beig said PDP wants restoration of Sadr-e-Riast status in J&K and want that head of the State should be from J&K and that too, on the rotational manner from Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh for each term. He however, remained non-committal on rotational Chief Minister. He also stressed for free economic zone, common currency, amendments in Art 356, 249, decentralization of power, formation of regional councils with all the powers, allowing use of water resources in J&K or adequate compensation against them in the shape of power supply. Surprisingly, the several founder members of the PDP including Ved Mahajan, Ex-MP T S Bajwa, Ex-MLA Shanti Devi, Ex-Minister Manjit Singh, Master Tasadduq Hussain, Yash Pal Sharma, Baldev Singh Slathia and others stayed away from this seminar. The two lone party MLAs from Jammu region, Ch Zulfikar Ali from Darhal and Rafiq Khan from Mendhar also left the hall when it was announced by senior PDP leader S Rangil Singh that Party chief Mufti Sayeed was not coming to attend the seminar. Besides Mr Beig, Balbir Singh, A K Sawhney and Murtaza Khan (MLC) were present at the dais. It was followed by the question-answer session which was ably conducted and responded by Mr Beig.