Congress manifesto: No change to special status of JK, will review AFSPA, appoint three new interlocutors

The Congress Party in their election manifesto has said that ‘no constitutional change will be allowed in the special status of JK’. The manifesto also promised to review the dreaded Armed Forces Special Powers Act and reduce Army footprints in J&K.

The Congress also said that they will appoint three new interlocutors if it was voted to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

“Congress promises to find such a solution through patient dialogue and talks with all stakeholders in the State. Congress promises the people of J&K talks without pre-conditions. We will appoint three interlocutors drawn from civil society to facilitate such talks,” reads the party’s election manifesto.

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The INC, which released its election manifesto at its New Delhi party headquarters, said that Jammu and Kashmir and its problems deserve a large-hearted approach that will eschew muscular militarism and legalistic formulations and look for an innovative federal solution.

“We also acknowledge the unique history of the State and the unique circumstances under which the State acceded to India that led to the inclusion of Article 370 in the Constitution of India. Nothing will be done or allowed to change the Constitutional position,” read the manifesto.

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It said that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and the Disturbed Areas Act in J&K will be reviewed and suitable changes will be made in the text of the laws to balance the requirements of security and the protection of human rights.

“We are deeply concerned about the cases of discrimination and harassment of students, traders and others belonging to Jammu & Kashmir in the rest of India and we will ensure their safety and their right to study or do business,” read the manifesto.

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