New Delhi (NVI): Describing the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 as government’s historical move, MoS (PMO), Jitendra Singh said that “terrorism and militancy” are now in the last phase in the region.
Speaking about the threat to ‘Identity’ of Kashmiriyat after scrapping of Article 370, Singh said, “Opposite to the common perception, the state was most exploited under the pretext of Article 370.”
“Contrary to the misinformation being spread by certain sections about the clampdown situation in J&K, this year has been the most peaceful festive season in the last many years,” Singh said at the presentation event of “Report from Ground Zero” by the delegation of Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA).
A delegation of Group of Intellectuals and Academicians presented a ‘Report from Ground Zero’ on Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh after setting aside of Article 370 and 35A.
The delegation briefed the Minister about the findings of their observations after reviewing and analysing the situation in Jammu and Kashmir by three teams. They also gave their inputs and recommendations, said the statement.
They briefed that common man across religions, sections and various professional backgrounds in J&K has expressed happiness about the decision of the government to revoke special status of the state granted under Article 370. The group also interacted with people living in border areas of J&K and took their views into consideration, it added.
Meanwhile, Singh said, “Festivals like Eid and Independence Day were celebrated in a peaceful manner after many years. The vested interests of some people have led to these misleading perceptions about the threat to the identity of people from Jammu & Kashmir.”
He questioned whether Article 370 is required to save the identity of people in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Bengal, stating, “The decision is a revolutionary step and it is difficult to even imagine such initiative being taken. The fruits of this decision will be realised slowly in future.”
Referring to the Centre’s decision of approving salaries and benefits as per the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations for the government employees of J&K and Ladakh, Singh said, “ The annual financial implication of the allowances like children education allowance, hostel allowance, transport allowance, LTC, fixed medical allowance for them will be around Rs 4,800 crore. Now the Government employees of J&K can also avail the benefits availed in other parts of the country.”
“After 31st October, many women-welfare related provisions will also be implemented,” he said quoting examples of doing away with Article 35A, the applicability of Dowry Prohibition Act, Prohibition of Child Marriage Act and others.
“These Central Laws will be made applicable to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir; and Union Territory of Ladakh,” he added.
“There are now no barriers to the industrial development of J&K. Development in J&K will also curb the ‘youth exodus’ from there, as there will be ample opportunities available to them, from which they were deprived earlier,” he said adding, “The development model of North East can be replicated in J&K. Food processing parks can be opened for apples, strawberry and other fruits on the lines of citrus fruit park in North East.”
“Other products of J&K such as Pashmina, saffron also have huge commercial potential which needs to be tapped for the economic well being of people of J&K,” he added.
Meanwhile, he congratulated the GIA team members for their efforts, stating, “It is a responsible initiative because most of the members are from the intellectual community in their respective areas. Their report provides an answer to many questions that are being raised these days. It is not based on just one visit to J&K, but based on research for long time and after being associated with Kashmir issue for years.”
“The inputs given in the report will be considered seriously. Many new schemes are being prepared by various departments for implementation in J&K, so that it does not lag behind in development as compared to any other part of the country,” he added.
The GIA was founded in 2015, it is the group of professional women and entrepreneurs, media persons and academicians committed to social-justice and nation-building.