Struggle for Statehood

Cover story 26 October, 2020 Issue

Struggle for Statehood
News Kashmir Exclusive

In a big development for Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah has recently said that the centre will not take long to restore Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir which was converted into the Union Territory on August 5, 2019 and declared that there will be a wave of development there in next 5-6 months as Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha is taking development to grass-root level.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has committed Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. I have also stated this on floor of Parliament. We won’t go back from our promise. It (restoration of Statehood to J&K) won’t take too long,” Shah said in an interview to CNN News 18 Network.Political and Social Circles have welcomed the move. 
Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said that an early restoration of Statehood alone could guarantee the residents of J&K their right to self-governance. 
He said that the people of J&K cannot afford any further delay in the restoration of Statehood. 
In reference to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s remarks that the Centre will not take long to restore Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, Bukhari said that the decision is no longer about a political party or any leader but about the democratic rights and political aspirations of the people of J&K.
Bukhari said: “While I welcome the union home minister’s statement, I would like to remind the union government not to keep this critical issue in political limbo for a long time in view of the sufferings of residents of J&K and the undeniable governance . 

Mushtaq ul Haq Ahmad Sikander, a well known political analyst stated :” Restoring statehood to J&K that has been degraded to Union Territory status is a genuine demand, because the decision of August 5, 2019 was taken without the consent of people. People and mainstream political parties who have been humiliated and betrayed will feel a sense of healing on their bruised souls. The apprehension however is like the previous state governments who were pawns in the hands of the centre and the regime in power in Delhi would call shots, now that process has accelerated in the Union Territory. Every small and big decision is taken by the centre so it does not evoke optimism that restoring statehood will bring some kind of relief, sense of triumph or revolutionary change in j&k. The mainstream political parties and centre is using the restoration of statehood as an election plank and conscious souls do understand it.”

On the other hand, PDP sounded unimpressed. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reiterated that mere restoration of statehood to J&K is not going to undo the plunder of rights of its people and that the party would always strive to restore the position of August 4, 2019 as the first step towards working out the resolution of the J&K issue in a dignified manner.
Addressing the party workers meeting of zone Khanyar-Srinagar at the party office, PDP General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said that the people of J&K can’t be tricked into the bargain of statehood against our special status, rights and identity.