New Delhi: Chairman of the National
Commission for Minorities Wajahat Habibullah has proposed
autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir as determined by the state
assembly with power to approve the final state Plan as one of
the measures to resolve the Kashmir problem.
Delivering a lecture on "Kashmir: The Present and The
Future" at the Institute of Defence Services and Analysis
(IDSA), the former Chief Information Commissioner also
suggested regional level council on the lines of Hill
Development Councils in Kashmir, Jammu, Ladakh, with Planning
He also proposed the setting up of Zilla Councils at
district level with district development boards and village
councils, besides Halqa majlis (panchayats) in various parts
of the state.
Talking about the problems in J & K, Habibullah said the
first one pertained to the claim of Pakistan on Kashmir and
the second pertained to "the complicated, interesting and
pressing problem of Kashmiris themselves".
Habibullah said though there is a popularly-elected
government since 2002 in the state with a young chief
minister, the "continuing custodial deaths" and lack of
opportunity for youth was leading to their alienation.
Habibullah said that despite the Prime Minister?s Rs
35,000 crore economic package and Kashmir interlocutors having
a quiet dialogue and India-Pakistan also in dialogue, there
were also "some negatives" which were not resolving the
problems in Jammu and Kashmir.
Among the negatives pointed out by Habibullah were lack of
Block Development Councils, no election in 136 blocks, no
substantial achievement by 2,700 Halqa (village) panchayats
and dysfunctional Commissions in the state, besides military
presence in civilian habitations.