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Kashmiris need no lesson from NSA: PDP

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Says those who believe in J&K's accession should also have faith in Instrument of Accession

Srinagar, Sep 5: Reacting to the remarks of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval that separate constitution for Jammu and Kashmir was an “aberration”, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday said that the people of the state “need no lesson from the NSA”.

Doval had on Tuesday said a separate constitution for Jammu and Kashmir was probably an “aberration”, and that the sovereignty can never be compromised.

His remarks on Kashmir come at a time when the Supreme Court is hearing pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35-A of the Constitution, which provides special rights and privileges to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

In a statement here, PDP chief spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir said that anyone who believes and endorses the Accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India should also have faith in the Clause 8 of the Instrument of Accession which provides for internal sovereignty of the state.

Mir said such unwarranted remarks of the NSA when Kashmir Valley was witnessing a political turmoil, showed his “insensitivity” towards the people of the state.

“The state’s internal sovereignty is a matter of right and has a historical significance. Although this sovereignty had been reduced to a hollow shell over these years, it continues to be a matter of our identity, symbolic of our collective struggle against autocratic rule,” Mir said.

The PDP spokesman said it was unfortunate that when a Muslim-dominated state rejected the two-nation theory and went to accede with a Hindu-majority nation with trust, “we are being harassed, pushed to the wall by these assaults on our state’s special status”.

This selective discrimination and assaults on the state’s special status will only “alienate” the people further as the Government of India at the time of accession gave an undertaking that the people of Kashmir could frame their own constitution, he said.

“I would like the NSA to know that the Instrument of Accession is a valid legal document and nobody should forget the essence of Clause 8 of the Instrument of Accession, which shows in its opening sentence that the instrument did not in any way effect the ‘sovereignty in and over’ the acceding state,” Mir said.

“Today, it is not only about protecting Article 370, 35-A or the state’s constitution but the continued culture of assaults on our identity is worrying,” he said.

Mir said that the Supreme Court has also settled this issue previously in the cases of Prem Nath Kaul versus State of J&K and Rehman Shagoo versus State of J&K, where the court upheld the state’s sovereignty”.

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