Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) responded to National Security Advisor of India Ajit Doval’s comments on Wednesday that separate constitution for Jammu and Kashmir was an “probably an aberration” by saying that ‘the people need no lesson from NSA’.
PDP 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.
“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,” said Mir, in a statement, issued today.
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.”
“It is unfortunate that when a Muslim dominated state rejected the two nation theory and went [on] 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.”
Mir 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 is not only about protecting Article 370, 35-A or the state’s constitution but the continued culture of assaults on our identity is worrying,” he said.
Mir said,“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 the Supreme Court has also settled this issue previously in the cases of Prem Nath Kaul v/s State of J&K and Rehman Shagoo v. State of J&K, where the court upheld the state’s sovereignty”.
His statements came at a time when the Supreme Court of India adjourned the hearing of petitions against Article 35-A in the Constitution to January next year.
This came after Jammu and Kashmir government approached the SC seeking adjournment of the hearing.
In a letter to the Registrar of the Supreme Court and circulated, M Shoeb Alam, the standing counsel for the state in the apex court, sought adjournment of hearing on five petitions scheduled for Friday, by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
According to Intelligence reports, agencies had warned about the revolt in the police ranks in a written communication to the state government.
People across the political and regional divide have come together to protest against attempts to revoke Article 35-A of the Indian Constitution which empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.