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PDP unveils “self-rule framework” for Kashmir

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New move: PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti release a document on self-rule in Kashmir, at a press conference in Srinagar on Saturday.
New move: PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti release a document on self-rule in Kashmir, at a press conference in Srinagar on Saturday.

Shujaat Bukhari

SRINAGAR: The People’s Democratic Party on Saturday released documents on the “self-rule framework,” which it proposed for resolving the Kashmir issue. Political restructuring, economic integration between the two parts of Kashmir, demilitarisation and constitutional restructuring within the Indian Constitution are the highlights of the new vision.

Unveiling the document, “The Self-Rule Framework for Kashmir Resolution,” PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said here that in the given situation this was the best possible solution, without affecting the sovereignty of both India and Pakistan. “This document is aimed at getting Kashmir out of the siege mentality.” Without disturbing the borders, the solution could be found and “this is the road map for that,” he said.

Trade across the Line of Control was a good beginning, but not enough and it should be something beyond symbolism. Laying emphasis on economic integration between the two parts of Kashmir across the LoC, Mr. Sayeed said Jammu and Kashmir should become a bridge in the SAARC region.

The PDP leader said regional councils could be formed by upgrading the Legislative Council and members from both sides could be accommodated.

The self-rule document was firm on making Article 356 (imposition of President’s Rule) non-applicable to Jammu and Kashmir, for which a separate constitution and its special status under Article 370 formed the basis. The Governor should be elected and rotated between Jammu and Srinagar. The PDP termed the economic aspect the critical element of self-rule. Economic integration across the LoC was paramount. For the process of integration, establishing a common economic space, instituting a dual currency system, harmonisation of economic legislation and synergistic regulations were important ingredients.

“Our vision is to move towards an economic union which will maintain free trade in goods and services, set common external tariffs, allow free mobility of capital and labour.”


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