Jammu & Kashmir

After Omar ‘expresses displeasure’ on reports of changing Permanent Residence rules, JK Guv Malik calls them ‘unfounded’

Srinagar: National Conference (NC) Vice President Omar Abdullah on Sunday wrote a letter to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik expressing his party’s displeasure on the issue of changing rules of Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) and said that an attempt was being made to distort the demography of the State.

In his letter to the Governor, it is written that, “We are obligated to write to you at a time when you are mulling changes to the permanent resident certificate rules.”

He said NC was of the opinion that this was an attempt to distort the demography of the State and found it detrimental to J&K’s special status.

“The State Administrative Council (SAC) is unilaterally bringing changes in the working of institutions and procedures, a practice that is against the principles and spirit of democracy and participative governance,” Omar wrote in the letter.

“There are media reports that your administration is planning changes in the procedure for granting PRCs. The reports say that directions have already been issued to the concerned officials to make changes in the procedure pertaining to the issuance of these certificates,” the letter stated.

He said NC deems it objectionable and condemnable.

“In addition, it is a brazen act to further create mistrust among people here and can have serious ramifications for the prospects of peace and harmony in J&K,” Omar wrote in the letter. “Moreover, this move comes at a time when the State does not have a popularly elected government. The assembly has been dissolved and elections are due within months. This makes the move of your administration unethical.”

He said Jammu and Kashmir was a sensitive state and any misadventure by the SAC could disturb the fragile and precarious peace.

“It is highly unfortunate that no wider consultations with any political party of the State and other stake holders were carried out,” he wrote. “We hope that you roll back any decision made in this regard immediately. We also want to convey and register our displeasure and a unanimous decision to oppose this move.”

Omar also tweeted that he had been trying to fax the letter to Malik’s office, but the fax machine wasn’t working.

Following the letter, the office of the Governor clarified that Omar’s fax had been received by the Raj Bhavan at around 3.44 pm.

In the letter addressed to Omar, Malik responded to the media reports by stating that is administration was not making or considering any changes in the Act. He also refuted any further ‘unfounded reports’ of changes in the procedural rules governing the issue of PR certificates.

He stated that ‘routine administrative matters’ which involved looking into the process of issuing PR certificates due to delay on ‘avoidable difficulties’ should not be read into to derive ‘unnecessary meanings’.

Toward the end, he also dismissed Omar’s tweet stating that the fax machine wasn’t working, stating that it had been received and confirmed by his office.

ALSO READ: ‘Fax off’ Moment in Kashmir Politics: Much Ado About Nothing

Omar later tweeted: Fax received from ⁦@jandkgovernor⁩ Malik Sahib which I’m sharing here. I’m pleased to note no changes are being proposed to the PRC certificate rules.

He also thanked Malik for ‘his timely and detailed reply’, stating that this was how ‘a mature democracy functions’.

Omar had previously mentioned the Raj Bhavan’s fax machine, stating that it was ‘a new political player’ in the region after Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti had tweeted that she had been trying to fax the letter to the Governor’s office on the issue of staking a claim, but the fax machine hadn’t been working.


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