Article 35A Row: Civil Society Joins Calls for Special LA Session

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Srinagar— A civil society group Monday called upon mainstream unionist parties to present a united front against the onslaughts being faced by Kashmir’s special character and convene a special session of the state legislature to formulate a joint strategy.

Coordination Committee- ‘We the People of J&K’ comprising members from different fields asked parties to unite and foil the attempts of RSS to scrap Article 35A- which bars outsiders from acquiring land or jobs in Jammu and Kashmir.”

“National Conference, Congress, PDP, CPI (M), People’s Conference are under moral obligation to call a special session of the J&K Legislative Assembly and Council to reaffirm their political resolve in defense of Article 35A and Article 370 and pass a resolution to this effect.”

The committee members Shakeel Qalandar, GN Shaheen, Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam, Muzaffar Shah, Mir Javaid and Jagmohan Singh Raina announced this at a joint press conference here.

“We are of this opinion that larger consensus among all sections of society irrespective of their political beliefs religion distractions and ethnic classification need to develop a consensus layer to protect the constitutional guarantees as contained in Article 35A and Article 370 of constitution of India. We appeal all concerned to shun the policy of cynicism, neglect and ignorance and rise to the occasion in the larger interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir,” they said.

“Since the matter is pending before Supreme Court, therefore it is incumbent upon all to prepare a solid legal defence and seek dismissal of anti-35A writ petition. In this regard if need arises we shall ask all concerned expert hands in constitutional matters and international law.”

The Coordination Committee members hoped that all concerned will respond to their request with the positive framework of mind in building the layer consensus on the said issue.

The members asked all the parties to stop playing politics on this sensitive issue and show a united face to foil this conspiracy.

On this occasion, Jagmohan Singh Raina who heads All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee said that majority of people from Jammu and Ladakh have been opposing the scrapping of Article 35A. “I myself talked to a lot of people who are very much concerned and pitch for the protection of this article,” he said.

Govt may convene special LA session

Welcoming the idea of the opposition political parties for convening a special session of the Legislature over Article 35A issue, the government Monday said that the commitments made with the state by the Centre from time to time will be “respected and maintained”.

“All the ideas are welcome,” Naeem Akhtar, Government spokesman and Minister for Public Works, told KNS.

He said that the Article 35A is an existential issue for Jammu and Kashmir state and all the political parties are on board and in its favour.

“This (Article 35A) is a joint issue and an existential issue for the state of Jammu and Kashmir. And, fortunately, all the parties are on board. So there is no difference e of opinion on how to approach it. The Chief Minister has consulted with opposition and will continue to do so,” Akhtar said.

Opposition parties including National Conference, Congress, Independent legislators, M Y Tarigami and Hakim Yaseen have sought convening of special session of the state legislature to discuss the “crucial issue” of Article 35A.

“We will fight it politically and legally. We have a strong case and I have a reason to feel that the institutions of the country which have made national commitments to the state will respect them,” the minister said.

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