National Conference Pledges To Strive For Restoration Of Jammu And Kashmir Autonomy
26 November 2014
: Ruling National Conference (NC) on Wednesday released the party manifesto for the Assembly elections, pledging to strive with 'renewed vigour' to build a consensus on the restoration of autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir. The party said it would oppose any attempt to 'tamper' with Article 370 of the Constitution, which grants special status to the state, and press for the reversal of 'erosion' of the constitutional provision over the years. 'NC has always maintained that restoration of autonomy was the only viable solution to the Kashmir problem. The party shall strive with renewed vigour to build a consensus in the country on this matter and remind the government of India about the resolution of the state assembly in this behalf which requires their urgent consideration,' according to the manifesto, which was released by party general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar and other leaders. 'The article (370) is the foundation on which relationship of the state with the rest of the country is based. This article cannot be tampered with. The NC will oppose any such attempt and will press for the reversal of the erosion of the letter and spirit of this article over the years,' it said. The manifesto, further says that the party would continue to make sustained efforts to get AFSPA revoked from the state by the Centre. 'Our Chief Minister (Omar Abdullah) has taken a clear stand on AFSPA. His stand has been endorsed by the country's former Home Minister P Chidambaram and Vice-President (Hamid) Ansari. They have said the law needs to go. This is the victory of the chief minister and the NC,' Sagar said. The party said it would urge the Centre to resume talks with Pakistan at the earliest for addressing all 'contentious issues'. 'Jammu and Kashmir is the only state which is directly affected by the conflict between India and Pakistan. Therefore, the NC would urge resumption of talks with Pakistan at the earliest, because we believe that dialogue on all contentious issues alone will lead to a lasting resolution of tensions between the two countries and ensure peace and prosperity in South Asian Region,' the manifesto said. The other poll promises in the manifesto include proper rehabilitation of the people affected by the September floods. Putting in place a comprehensive mechanism to act as a deterrent to corrupt practices in the political and administrative setup, pursuing the demand for handing over the power projects which have become due for transfer to the state and to create conditions to enable the Kashmiri Pandits to return to the Valley with dignity and honour. The party leadership appealed the people of the state to give the NC a clear mandate so that it can create a 'Naya Kashmir' and lead the people of the state to live a life of happiness and prosperity in an era of peace and stability.