Doval’s remark on Kashmir constitution unwarranted: PDP
Srinagar, Sep 05: People’s Democratic Party has taken a strong exception to remarks of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval who on Tuesday said having a separate constitution for Jammu and Kashmir was probably an “aberration” and that sovereignty can never be compromised. According to the statement issued, Party’s Chief Spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir said that anyone who believes and endorses the Accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India should also have faith in the clause 8 of the Instrument of Accession which provides for internal sovereignty of the state. He said that such inflections and unwarranted remarks of the National Security Advisor when Kashmir Valley is reeling under trouble and witnessing a political turmoil, shows the insensitivity of the National Security Advisor towards the people of Kashmir. He said that the state’s internal sovereignty is a matter of right and has a historical significance, although this sovereignty had been reduced to a hollow shell over these years, but still continues to be a matter of our identity, symbolic of our collective struggle against autocratic rule. He said that it is unfortunate that when a Muslim dominated state rejected the two nation theory and went to accede with a Hindu majority nation with trust, we are being harassed, pushed to the wall by these assaults on our state’s special status. He said that this selective discrimination and assaults on state’s special status will only alienate the people further as the government of India at the time of Accession gave an undertaking that the people of Kashmir could frame their own constitution. “Today it’s not only about protecting Article 370, 35 A or state’s constitution but the continued culture of assaults on our identity is worrying,” he said. Mir said that “I would like the NSA to know that the Instrument of Accession is a valid legal document and nobody should forget the essence of clause 8 of the Instrument of Accession, which shows in its opening sentence that the instrument did not in any way effect the ‘sovereignty in and over’ the acceding state”. Mir said that “ Supreme Court has also settled this issue previously in the cases of Prem Nath Kaul v. State of J&K and Rehman Shagoo v. State of J&K, where the court upheld the state’s sovereignty” . The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir came in to being in pursuance to Accession to further define the existing relationship of the state with the union and also to secure strong foundations of democracy, and today the same is being challenged, it is shameful, he said. Stating that PDP will support every movement aimed at safeguarding state’s special status, Mir said we stand with all sections of the civil society who have braved to fight for state’s identity with their courage and conviction, we will support them in every endeavour leading to a united opposition against these assaults. Mir said that PDP has challenged the petition seeking abrogation of Article 35 A and we will also challenge the petition questioning the constitutional validity of the Constitution of J&K, after a discussion with Party leaders he added.