JAMMU: Exuberance of People’s
Democratic Party seems to be premature
with political landscape of
Jammu and Kashmir witnessing
dramatic changes with each passing
day as the elections to
Legislative Assembly are coming
closer. Much water has flown down
the Jhelum since 2008 when
polarisation made all the difference.
Those seen as persona non
grata then are now gaining
acceptance even with hardcore
entities while the natural inheritors
of the Valley’s legacy are facing
abject rejection. In such a situation
whipping up passions may
not cut much ice with the voters
who are well poised to differentiate
between reality and rhetoric.
By raking up the Kashmir issue,
the PDP is actually playing with a
double edged weapon as arousing
passions in the Valley may attract
reverse reaction in the Jammu
Mufti Mohammed Sayeed is
painting a very pleasing picture of
Jammu and Kashmir with his
PDP getting on the driver’s seat
after elections. Besides promising
honey and milk, the former Union
Home Minister pledges to work
for resolution of the Kashmir
issue. This is not a new mantra of
the PDP; the party has, in fact,
been exploiting it since its inception
without elaborating as to
what remains an issue that is
required to be solved. For sure, he
does not mean liberation of
Pakistan occupied Kashmir, which
remains the only unresolved
aspect of the Kashmir issue that
forms core of the unanimous
Parliament Resolution of
February 1994. However, he has a
vision of solving the so-called
Kashmir issue which is enshrined
in Self Rule doctrine that has not
been abandoned so far. The Mufti,
who is claiming widened party
base in the Jammu region, better
ask his supporters whether they
subscribe to his doctrine, which
gives Jammu and Kashmir the
status of a qasi nation-a nation
within the nation. Unless having
any other solution, he feels that
Jammu and Kashmir will become
an island of peace once this doctrine
gets a go-ahead. Let PDP
supporters in Jammu know what
Self Rule stands for.
As per the doctrine, the Self-
Rule for the Greater Jammu and
Kashmir will eliminate the sources
of ethno-territorial conflicts,
entrenched in the traditional
notions of sovereignty, self-determination,
national and ethnic borders.
It is a formulation that will
integrate the region without disturbing
the extant sovereign
authority over delimited territorial
space. It will be a way of sharing
sovereignty and the self rule being
a trans-border concept will have a
pan-Kashmir dimension. It will
allow sharing of power between
two levels of government, for the
sharing of sovereignty in a coordinated
but not subordinated to one
another, each exercising supreme
sovereignty in its constitutional
Greater Jammu and Kashmir
will have a Regional Council, a
sort of senate, replacing the present
Legislative Council and having
representatives from PoK. The
Regional Council will serve as a
major cross-border institution to
ensure long-term coordination of
matters and interest relating to
the state. The Regional Council
will provide frameworks within
which certain matters between the
two parts of the State and their
respective mainland need to be
sorted out to infuse in people a
sense of empowerment and a feeling
of belonging.
Greater Jammu and Kashmir
will have a common economic
space, dual currency system and a
mechanism to coordinate economic
policy. Under the economic integration,
a Preferential Trade
Agreement would be put in place
with India and Pakistan to offer
tariff reductions, or eliminations
confined to the geographical
boundaries of GJAK. Initially it
will be restricted to some product
categories but gradually it will be
a regional free trade area, with no
tariffs or barriers. GJAK will
maintain its own external tariff on
imports from the rest of the world,
including India and Pakistan.
GJAK will set a common external
tariff on imports from India and
Pakistan. The system of dual currency
will see the currencies of
India and Pakistan becoming
legitimate tenders within the geographical
areas of GJAK.
The GJAK will dispense with the
Governor, which any other state of
the country is having, including J
and K, as of now. Instead, it will
have a Sadr-e-Riyasat, chosen by
the State Legislature. It is not known whether the State will switch over to monarchal or presidential form
of the government because there is no mention of Chief Minister or the Prime
Finally, GJAK will not have Indian services officers by scrapping All India
Service Act 1951 and rolling back Article 312; similarly, Article 356 will be
scrapped and Article 249, applied to the State in amended form, will be rolled
back so that the Parliament cannot exercise legislative jurisdiction over a matter
that, otherwise, falls under the State jurisdiction; the proviso added to
Article 368, which deals with the powers of the Parliament to amend the
Constitution of India and not the power of State Legislature to amend its own
Constitution will also be dispensed with.
So, the former Home Minister’s PDP wants to do away with what has been
achieved during the past six and a half decades.