Round table stress on restoration of Kashmiris’ social, economic and cultural rights

SRINAGAR: Expressing grave concern over the violation of social, economic and cultural rights in Jammu & Kashmir, participants at a round table conference orgainsed by Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) today on the eve of the World Human Rights Day in Srinagar expressed the view that these rights ought to be given due primacy along with political and civil rights.

Participants at the end of the round table conference passed a resolution which demanded immediate revocation of all extra-constitutional laws in Jammu & Kashmir that violate the fundamental rights of its people. 

Emphasizing the need for the return of the state’s hydel power  projects under the control of NHPC, the participants urged the government of India to make the people of the state assume control of all their natural and other mineral resources vital for economic sustenance of the state. 

The participants also urged the government of India to grant unhindered access to the people of the state to all their forest and mountain resources, including highland pastures like Tossamaidan. It was unanimously demanded that the use of Tossamaidan as Artillery Firing Range must be immediately ended and the J&K government was urged not to extend the lease of the pasture for military exercises’ purpose.

Voicing serious concern over the lack of progress in fixing responsibility for the spurious drugs scandal that came to surface recently, the participants demanded urgent actions to ensure that there is no institutional culpability at the state level in feeding spurious drugs and equipment to the health sector of the state.

The recent cases of mass injection of fake pesticides and fungicides into Kashmir’s markets, thereby damaging agricultural and horticultural production, were viewed with deep concern, and the process of remedies was decided to be watched closely by the civil society.

The round table participants also demanded to remove all state-enforced obstacles in people’s right of peaceful assembly, free speech, organisation and assembly, with special emphasis on facilitating creation of students unions in Kashmir’s universities. 

The prominent speakers at the round table conference included Abdul Majeed Butt, Abdul Majeed Zargar, Anwar Ashai, Arjimand Hussain Talib, G N Shaheen, Mubeen Shah, Riyaz Masroor, Shakeel Qalander, Dr. Sheikh Showkat Hussain, Qurrat ul Ain, Z G Muhammad, Zareef Ahmed Zareef, Dr Zaffar Mehdi and others. KCSDS Chairperson Dr Hamida Nayeem moderated the conference. A large number of students also participated in the discussions.

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