Jammu, Apr 01: A day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate talks with Pakistan, Union minister Jitendra Singh Sunday said the decision to hold or not to hold a dialogue with Islamabad is purely the Centre’s prerogative.
The BJP yesterday hit back at the PDP for its remarks that delay in resumption of a dialogue between India and Pakistan has the potential of undermining the Agenda of Alliance of the PDP-BJP government and said such remarks could lead to mistrust and add to confusion among the people.
“The decision to hold or not to hold talks with Pakistan is purely the Centre’s prerogative and only the Government of India is in a position to take a call on this,” Singh, the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, told reporters on the sidelines of the BJP State Working Committee meeting at Suchetgarh, near here.
Asked to comment on Mehbooba’s statement that India should hold talks with Pakistan at the earliest, Singh said he “is not qualified to answer whether or not and when India should hold talks with Pakistan because he is not privy to the sensitive inputs and confidential reports, based on which, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs take a view”.
He, however, said, any decision in this regard is beyond the purview of the J-K government.
Without naming any political party, Singh said even going by the ideological positions taken by Kashmir-centric political parties espousing demands such as autonomy, these parties have also, in their policy documents, left the management of foreign affairs to the central government.
Lauding the security forces for eliminating eight militants in a single operation in the Kashmir valley today, Singh said, “Our security forces are doing a commendable job and the nation is eternally indebted to them.
“We are approaching the last phase of militancy,” he said, claiming the common man in Kashmir, particularly the youth, has already moved ahead.
On the deliberations at the BJP State Working Committee meeting, the minister said the coalition government in the state has completed three years in office, even though it was being claimed by the opposition parties, particularly the Congress and the National Congress, that this government will not last even three days.
He said the working committee meeting, held every three months, was a part of the BJP’s traditional curriculum offering an opportunity to review the activities and experiences and to chalk out the future road map accordingly.
At a function yesterday organised by a group of Kashmiri Pandits owing allegiance to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mehbooba said that war was never an option.
Reconciliation is the mantra which we need to follow and therefore, I request Modi ji to engage with Pakistan, she said.
In a statement, BJP spokesperson Anil Gupta yesterday said, “The BJP has refuted the repeated claims being made in the media by Sartaj Madani, PDP vice president, that dialogue with Pakistan was the first and last condition for forging alliance with the BJP.”
Madani had on Friday said that delay in resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan has the potential of undermining the Agenda of Alliance (AoA) of the PDP-BJP government.
He had said the AoA was a commitment to the people to resolve the Kashmir problem through “reconciliation and dialogue”.
The AoA, which formed the basis for PDP-BJP forming a government in Jammu and Kashmir, was an express commitment to the people of the state on resolution of Kashmir problem through reconciliation and dialogue, he had said.
Madani also said that a delay in resumption of sustainable dialogue and revival of peace initiatives between India and Pakistan were causing worries and had the potential of undermining the AoA.
Gupta responded by saying that such “selective quoting from the AoA can lead to mistrust and add to confusion among the people”.
The BJP spokesman said he coalition government was formed without any pre-conditions to provide a stable and representative government that would work towards providing smart governance, ensuring self-sustaining and balanced development across the three regions of the state and to create conditions to facilitate resolution of all issues of J and K.
All laws in Kashmir should be at par with rest of India: Shiv Sena
New Delhi, Apr 20: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has said that all the laws in the State of Jammu and Kashmir should be at par with the rest of the country.
Coming down heavily on the Indian National Congress, the Shiv Sena chief said that Congress does not want to abolish Article 370.
“All laws in Kashmir should be at par with the rest of India. Congress does not want to abolish Article 370. Leaders like Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have said that if Article 370 is abolished there will be no one to respect the tricolor,” the Shiv Sen chief said while addressing a public rally in Aurangabad.
He also that Shiv Sena wanted a Prime Minister who could attack Pakistan and that is why Shiv Sena went into an alliance with the BJP.
CB registers case: 129 fake appointments in health dept at B’pora
Srinagar, Apr 20: Crime Branch Kashmir (CBK) has registered a case against various officers, officials for fraudulently making 129 appointments in three medical blocks of Bandipora.
According to CBK official handout, it received a communication from Directorate of Health Services Kashmir regarding 129 persons in Bandipora suspected of holding fictitious GPF numbers and with no record in District Fund Office Bandipora.
“During the course of inquiry by CBK, it came to fore that 129 employees of District Bandipora, 26 from Block Bandipora, 17 from Hajin and 86 from Block Gurez possess fictitious GPF A/C NOs, with allotted computer code 7501,” it stated, adding that the offices of Block Medical Officer Bandipora, Hajin and Gurez have reflected the fictitious GPF Code 7501 on the LPCs issued by them in favour of the fraudulently appointed employees.
The CBK further said that the appointment orders purportedly issued by Chief Medical Officer Baramulla were found fake and fictitious as the persons were appointed in fraudulent manner and then transferred to different Medical Blocks with their service books / LPCs prepared and dispatched.
“In this manner, a huge number of illegally and fraudulently appointed employees have been drawing salary deceitfully since long under a well-knit criminal conspiracy in league with concerned officers/officials. A huge loss has been caused to the state exchequer due to fraudulently appointed employees” the handout stated.
Transparency in cross-LoC trade: Demands ignored by successive govts,says KCCI
Srinagar, Apr 20: Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCC&I) on Saturday said that their demands aimed at bringing transparency in cross-LoC trade were ignored by the successive governments in the state.
“Over the years, no effective steps were taken to implement various suggestions given by stakeholders,” a spokesman of KCC&I said in a statement.
He said that the decision of installation of full body scanner was taken several years ago it was caught in procedural delays.
“Demands aimed at bringing transparency to the trade including installation of a full body scanner, close circuit television camera’s (CCTV’s), banking facility, communication infrastructure, re-verification of traders, regular rotation of officials posted at Trade Facilitation Centres etc have been ignored,” he said.
He said that in July 2018, the then Governor N N Vohra had issued deadlines for the implementation of the aforementioned measures but till date no action has been taken resulting in the suspension of the trade itself.
He also said that the allegation that businessman Zahoor Ahmed Wattali was the President of LOC Traders Association is also unsubstantiated as per our knowledge.
“This has allowed the alleged flow of narcotics, fake currency and weapons into the State. In view of the serious nature of the allegations, responsibility needs to be fixed for the glaring lapses,” he said.
He said that the order of suspension has been issued without taking into account the difficulties genuine traders would be facing.
“No opportunity has been given to settle accounts and traders have been left with huge stocks, many of them perishable, which would be of no use. In addition, thousands of persons connected with the trade have been rendered jobless and in debt,” he said.