We won’t hamper resolution of Kashmir dispute: National Conference

October 31st, 2008 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Oct 31 (IANS) The resolution of the Kashmir dispute lies in the hands of India and Pakistan, the state’s main opposition party, the National Conference (NC), has said in its vision document released here Friday as part of the campaign for the upcoming assembly polls.”Our governance agenda will not be any hurdle in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute by India and Pakistan but they must keep the aspirations of the people of the state in mind while reaching that resolution,” the party said.

Its vision document highlights the party’s political and economic agenda for governance in Jammu and Kashmir in the next 15 years. It was prepared by a panel of its leaders headed by Abdul Rahim Rather and included two former chief secretaries of the state, Sheikh Gulam Rasool and Vijay Bakaya.

“This vision document is aimed at achieving self-reliance, eradication of unemployment, environmental conservation and good governance in the state,” party patron and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah told reporters at the Nawa-e-Subha headquarters of the party in summer capital Srinagar.

Party president and MP Omar Abdullah was also present at the function. While talking to reporters, he reiterated his decision to contest the assembly polls from north Kashmir’s Ganderbal constituency. Omar had lost the 2002 elections in Ganderbal to People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Qazi Muhammad Afzal.

The National Conference’s vision document is basically an extension of the party’s autonomy resolution which it had passed in the state assembly with an overwhelming majority in 2000, when it was in power.

The vision document speaks of the peace process between India and Pakistan, good governance, Panchayati Raj, rehabilitation of people affected by militancy, private sector investment in hydro-power generation and also expansion of the industrial and tourism sectors to give a fillip to the state’s economy besides addressing the problem of unemployment.

Asked whether his party had already reached some understanding with the Congress party about a future alliance in the state, Omar said: “Coalition governments have failed in the state in the past and we hope to get an absolute majority on our own this time.

“The option of an alliance would only be discussed by the party after the election results.”

The National Conference president strongly refuted rumours that a deal had been worked out by his party with the centre for future government formation here.

“The power to elect the government lies with the people and they alone would decide who comes to power here,” Omar said.

He also said the party’s election manifesto would be released shortly.

Jammu and Kashmir will hold assembly polls in seven phases from Nov 17 to Dec 24.

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