Omar warns against any 'misadventures' on GST extension to JK

Omar warns against any 'misadventures' on GST extension to JK
Asserting that Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 was non-negotiable, former Chief Minister and Opposition NC leader Omar Abdullah Sunday warned the PDP-BJP alliance against any 'misadventures' on the GST regime extension to the State.

"Jammu and Kashmir cannot be compared to other states as we have our own Constitution, our special status and our own fiscal autonomy – which is non-negotiable," Omar said while addressing the National Conference (NC) workers at the party headquarters here.

He said that they recently met the Governor NN Vohra to apprise him of their stand on this crucial issue. "We also demanded that the State government invites all stakeholders and holds an All Party Meeting to divulge its plans and policy on GST before summoning a special session of the Legislative Assembly. NC will not allow the State’s fiscal autonomy to be eroded at any cost,” the former CM asserted.

He aslo asked New Delhi to acknowledge the underlying political issue in Kashmir, saying no amount of development and economic packages could possibly compensate for a 'monumental failure to address the political issue.' “I have said this in the presence of visiting Prime Ministers and I have said this in the Legislative Assembly as the Chief Minister and I will say this again – Kashmir is a political issue and has to be resolved politically as per the wishes and aspirations of the people," Omar said.

"Military solutions can’t be used to resolve a political problem. The government in New Delhi should acknowledge the adverse implications of the status-quo in Kashmir and engage in sustained talks with stakeholders in J&K as well as the government of Pakistan. Continued hostility between the two neighbors on the LoC and the International Border has a direct bearing on peace and stability in J&K”, the NC leader added.

He also expressed disappointment over the State government’s abandonment of the ‘Return and Rehabilitation Policy’ initiated by the previous NC-led Government. "Those  youth (militants) who want to return to their homes and resume their lives should be allowed avenues and opportunities to come back. Sadly the present government has completely abandoned the ‘Return and Rehabilitation Policy’ and those youth who try to come back are either sent back from the Nepal border or detained," the former CM said.

Omar, the working president of NC, alleged the Centre has also distanced itself from all promises of the state government's common minimum programme - Agenda of the Alliance - formally and publicly. The BJP, the leading party at the Centre, is a partner in the ruling coalition government in J-K with the PDP.

He denounced the "anti-student and anti-youth wave of repression" in the Valley and said the wanton use of force and "oppressive tactics" against protesting students won’t help in restoring peace but would add to the already alarming level of alienation on the ground.

Speaking about the current situation in the State, Omar said “While the Central government's conscious decision to not engage with the political issue in Kashmir has worsened the situation in the State, the PDP-BJP government’s complete and total failure has compounded the sense of unease and disaffection."
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