Srinagar:Minister Counselor for Political Affairs Mr. Les Viguerie and Mr. Alex LeFevre, Political Officer along with A. Sukesh Senior Advisor in the Embassy of the USA in India on Thursday called on National Conference leader and Political Advisor Tanvir Sadiq this afternoon at his Srinagar residence and discussed interests of mutual interest.
In an hour long meeting, Tanvir said that India and Pakistan have squandered many chances to resolve the Kashmir issue, but there are still opportunities.
“Any solution cannot be driven by the barrel of the gun. Good sense has to prevail and an era of peace and prosperity has to begin,” said Sadiq.
Tanvir while interacting with the visiting delegation, said, “As soon as the new government comes into place in Delhi, both India and Pakistan should initiate CBMs to such an extent that there is hardly an iota of suspicion. Many lives have been lost and it is time that both understand there is serious urgency in resorting to both Track-II diplomacy and direct engagement” adding, “people of Jammu and Kashmir have been disenfranchised by not holding the Assembly election on time but hoped that now Lok Sabha polls are due to conclude, we can only hope that Centre with the EC gives people of Jammu and Kashmir an elected government which is their right.”
On the issue of special status Tanvir said, “It is the Constitution which gives special status to the state and allows it a ”Sadr-e-Riyasat” and “Wazir-e-Azam” – posts equivalent to the president and the prime minister. It is the constitution which talks about J&K’s map, its flag and J&K’s own constitution. And according to that constitution, we have our own prime minister and Sadr-e-Riyasat.”
Tanvir while underscoring efforts made by party for the restoration of autonomy, said, “We passed the autonomy resolution in 2000 by the 2/3rd majority of the state legislature and it remains the only valid report for the resolution of the Kashmir issue till date.”
Tanvir said that party want the restoration of the terms of accession, including the restoration of internal autonomy, on the basis of which Jammu and Kashmir became part of India.
While recalling the role of National Conference in political empowerment of the people and socio-economic transformation of Jammu and Kashmir, Tanvir dwelt in length the initiatives taken in strengthening democracy and forging the bonds of amity between various sections of the people. He said late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah had envisioned a strong, prosperous and secular Jammu and Kashmir.
“This concept continues to be the guiding force for the party,” he said and referred to revolutionary steps taken under the stewardship of Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah in realizing late leader’s vision by empowering the people politically, economically and educationally.
He said National Conference reflects the genuine urges and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir State, which is blend of different faiths and cultures. “It is a unique state representing the ethos of unity in diversity,” he maintained.