Srinagar, July 11: Slamming the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) for its demand of restoration of statehood for Jammu and Kashmir as a pre-condition for holding of elections, State Secretary of People's Democratic Front Javed Beigh on Sunday said the "so-called Kashmiri leadership" has been creating obstacles in achieving sustainable peace and stability in the union territory.
In an article published in The Nation, a UK-based daily, Beigh said, "Whenever there are windows of opportunities for the return of permanent and sustainable peace and stability in Kashmir valley, there are artificially manufactured obstacles created by so-called Kashmiri leadership themselves that have put Kashmir valley permanently in political instability, chaos and uncertainty." ‘Jammu and Kashmir Elections Should Be Held Only After Restoration of Statehood’, Says PAGD
"The PAGD's recent declaration demanding the restoration of statehood for Jammu and Kashmir as a pre-condition for holding of elections in the UT once again demonstrates a stubborn attitude of Kashmir centric parties to always keep any issue relating to Kashmir valley in a state of dispute," he added.
Beigh further questioned why PAGD is creating unnecessary obstacles in the path of the restoration of the statehood to Jammu and Kashmir when Delhi has already committed about it.
The article published in The Nation further states that the delimitation of legislative assembly seats in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir were distributed unfairly in favour of Kashmir valley and there was little parity in the distribution of legislative assembly seats among Kashmir valley, Jammu region and Ladakh.
Beigh said the Jammu region had assembly seats for a population of over a million, while Kashmir was artificially granted many assembly segments with a population running in only thousands. He also complained about no political representation to nomadic tribal communities of Gujjar and Bakarwals living in Kashmir valley.
"The stubborn political leadership of Kashmir centric PAGD does not realize that such kind of hurdle creating behaviour eventually pushed Kashmir towards political instability and then an era of militancy that completely destroyed the Kashmir valley beyond recognition. PAGD must come out of its feudal mindset and outdated political manoeuvrings to try to usurp all political power to themselves," added Beigh.
The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) earlier this week had said the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir must be held only after the restoration of full statehood.
In an official statement after the first meeting of the PAGD on July 4, the alliance spokesperson MY Tarigami said that restoration of statehood has been "BJP's commitment on the floor of the Parliament and they must honour their word."
"So any assembly election must be held only after the restoration of full statehood for Jammu and Kashmir. To this end, the PAGD has decided to reach out to other political parties in Jammu and Kashmir with a view to taking a common position on the issue," said Tarigami.
He informed that at the alliance's meeting, all the members of the PAGD had "expressed their disappointment at the outcome of the all-party meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a meeting with political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir on June 24.
The meeting was the first high-level interaction between the Centre and political leadership mainly from Kashmir since August 5, 2019, when the Centre abrogated Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and also bifurcated the erstwhile state into two union territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019, which was notified by the government on August 9, 2019, paved the way for the creation of two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature and Ladakh, without it.
The Act provides that the number of seats in the legislative assembly of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall be increased from 107 to 114, and delimitation of the constituencies will be determined by the Election Commission.
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