SRINAGAR: As Supreme Court has deferred the verdict on Article 35-A of constitution, which grants special privileges to residents of Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said Article 370 of the constitution should be honoured.
“Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, is the nation’s commitment to people of the State and therefore should be honoured, Mehbooba tweeted.
Her statement assumes significance as it comes after the apex court deferred the verdict on Article 35-A, which confers special rights and privileges on permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir and debars non-residents from buying land or property, getting a government job or voting in State Assembly elections.
The Attorney General had sought deferment of the verdict on behalf of central government citing appointment of former IB director Dineshwar Sharma as interlocutor on Kashmir.
In another tweet, Mehbooba said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has an unprecedented mandate and can create history by changing the narrative on Jammu and Kashmir.
She has described Modi as powerful prime minister of India, who has the mandate of people of the country to pull Kashmir out of crisis.
The CM also urged central government to reopen traditional routes
“The country should take advantage of Jammu and Kashmir’s geostrategic location and revive its traditional routes to foster greater economic activity,” she said in another tweet.
Mehbooba’s PDP is in favour of opening of all traditional travel and trade routes between Jammu and Kashmir and Central Asia via Pakistan and China.
As per the Agenda of Alliance framed by PDP and BJP for running the coalition government in the State, the government would take confidence building measures such as, enhancing people to people contact on both sides of the LoC encouraging civil society exchanges, taking travel, commerce, trade and business across the LoC to the next level and opening new routes across all three regions to enhancing connectivity.
In an indirect reference to separatists, Mehbooba said democracy is a battle of ideas and dialogue is the only way forward.
The interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma is arriving on maiden 4-day visit to Kashmir on Monday to interact with the political parties, traders and civil society members.
The separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, who spearheaded over five month long unrest in Valley last year following killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani, have already rejected talks with the interlocutor.
They have said his appointment is nothing more than a “tactic to buy time” by New Delhi.