Jammu: Opposition National Conference (NC) on Tuesday pitched for granting “regional autonomy” to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh during a meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Jammu.
The party said that setting up autonomous administrative structures for sub-regions on the pattern of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council will help address regional aspirations of the people.
Expressing satisfaction over the “assurance” of the Union Home Minister on Article 35A, the NC voiced hope that it will be reflected in the way the Centre represents its case in Supreme Court.
The National Conference will support every move aimed at bringing peace in the state, provided these take care of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the unique identity of its people, the NC’s provincial president Devender Singh Rana, who led a 25-member delegation, told reporters after the 40-minute meeting with Singh.
The minister is on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir since 9 September.
Rana said a hope has been rekindled in Jammu and Kashmir by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech and Singh’s stress on five Cs “compassion, communication, co- existence, confidence building and consistency” for dealing with the Kashmir issue. “Therefore, we are eagerly waiting that the process of reconciliation is taken forward,” he said, adding that more onus lies on the ruling BJP in preserving “the idea of Jammu and Kashmir, which synchronises with the idea of India”.
“We strongly believe that autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir and regional autonomy to the three regions with autonomous administrative structures for sub-regions on the pattern of Ladakh Hill Development Council can defeat the nefarious designs of the forces, which want trifurcation of the state for their petty political interests,” Rana said.
He also expressed concern over alleged “attempts being made to divide people of Jammu and Kashmir on regional and communal lines”.
Hailing the “successful initiative” taken by the Centre in ending Dokalam standoff after sustained talks with China, the NC said it is hopeful that the same spirit will be emulated in tackling issues with Pakistan. There is a need for generating conducive atmosphere by both India and Pakistan to have a meaningful dialogue, he said.
On the issue of Rohingyas, Rana reiterated the stand of the National Conference, saying that the Centre can take a call on the issue under Foreign Nationals Act and the UN Charter.