Article 35A is non-negotiable, can’t be tampered with: Muzaffar Shah
New Delhi, Feb 25: Civil society member and Awami National Conference senior leader Muzaffar Ahmed Shah who is camping in New Delhi along with a battery of lawyers to safeguard Article 35 A Monday said that this article is non-negotiable and can’t be tampered with.
He described Article 35A as a “non-negotiable article of faith” for the people of the state. Shah said even Indian Parliament can’t revoke it. “There are apprehensions that President of India can issue an ordinance over this article, but let me clear it if such a situation arises, all the presidential orders issued from 1953 can be challenged and that will not be in the interest of India,” he said.
He said the “assault on the state’s special status was part of a longstanding ideological mission of those quarters who have always opposed J&K’s political rights and dignity.
Shah said that accession with India can be questioned if this article is removed. “Article 370 is a bride that connects Kashmir with India. Removing it means dismantling that bridge,” he said.
Shah’s remarks came at a time when state’s mainstream opposition parties and separatist groups have warned against any attempt at abrogating
Article 35A, a constitutional guarantee which ensures the state’s special status and privileges.
“Article 35A is vital and non-negotiable for the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and those trying to divide us on regional and religious lines to further their agenda will have to be defeated,” Shah said.
Mandi town of Poonch observes shutdown
Poonch, Feb 25: Mandi town of Poonch district in Jammu division observed a complete shutdown on Monday in defense of Article 35-A. The shutdown was called by the traders and members of religious bodies of Mandi in the area in favour of Article 35-A and it was supported by the transport bodies as well. Reports said all the shops and other business establishments remained closed and both public and private transports also remained off the roads. Article 35-A which guarantees special rights to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir has been challenged in the Supreme Court of India and on Sunday, Kashmir valley also observed a complete shutdown in its favour. Reports said that authorities have imposed curfew-like restrictions in the area to avoid any untoward incident. Sources said a huge contingent of government forces had been deployed in sensitive areas of the district to avoid any untoward incident. A police official said that situation remained peaceful throughout the day. (CNS)