shikaras

Shikaras anchored on the banks of Srinagar's Dal Lake. (IANS photo)

NEW DELHI — After a delegation from Jammu and Kashmir met Home Minister Amit Shah Sept. 3 and on the eve of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the chief guest, the government released a position paper on Jammu and Kashmir and the developments since the August 5 revocation of Article 370 and 35A.

The position paper highlights how Article 370 actually impeded greater development within the state, as also hindered social equity and allowed festering of anti national sentiment.

It debunks the creation of the faux state called "Azad J&K" and throws into stark relief how sequential steps taken by Pakistan on the eve of the accession by sending marauding Kabalis and Afridi raiders to capture Kashmir Valley and subsequently not removing troops and people from the original state of J&K rendered the so-called plebiscite 'hors de combat.’ 

The paper highlights ongoing measures being undertaken by the Government to restore normalcy in J&K, including:

- Full focus is on returning situation to normalcy. Some restrictions on communications and preventive detentions have been made at local administration level based on the ground situation with a view to maintain public law and order. These are being reviewed continuously by them and being eased based on the ground situation.

- There has been no incident of major violence. Not even a single live bullet has been fired. There has been no loss of life. Some small protests have been handled by local police while exercising full restraint.

- Essential supplies, including 24/7 electricity, water supply and sanitation are being ensured.

- Hospitals and medical facilities are functioning normally. There is no shortage of medicines. All 376 notified medicines and 62 essential medicines are available in adequate quantity. In Srinagar, 1,165 out of 1,666 chemists shops are open. In Kashmir valley, 65 per cent of the 7,630 retail chemists and 4,331 wholesale chemists are open. Over the last fortnight, nearly 250,000 people visited different district hospitals.

- Telecom connectivity is being restored gradually, keeping in mind the threat posed by terrorist organizations in using mobile connectivity to organize terror actions. 73,000 of the 93,000 landline telephones made operation by third week of August. 76 out of the 95 telephone exchanges in Kashmir are now functional. All land-lines and mobile phones are fully functional in Jammu and Ladakh regions.

- A media center with communication facilities is operational in J&K to enable the media to cover events in the J&K. Regular press briefings are being held by the J&K administration. Over 400 passes have been issued, majority to local journalists to facilitate reporting. All mainstream newspapers are being printed. Satellite channels and cable TV networks are operational.

- Movement restrictions are gradually being removed.

- Pilgrims going on Haj and returning from Haj are specifically facilitated. 83 more Hajis of Srinagar district returned home on Aug. 23.

- 91 percent of the Kashmir Valley is free from any day time restrictions. Jammu and Ladakh regions are completely free from any day-time restrictions.

- Vehicular movement in many parts of J&K and Ladakh is normal. Transportation of local fruit produce has increased with 300 trucks plying on daily basis and with over 150,000 metric tons of fruit produce has been sent to various sale points outside the valley.

- Government offices have been made fully functional from Aug. 16.

- Schools are being gradually opened. Primary (till class 5) and Middle schools (till class 8) were reopened on Aug. 19 and secondary schools reopened on Aug. 26.

- Banking and ATM facilities are operating normally and cash is regularly loaded so that public does not face any difficulty.

- India has an independent judiciary and independent State and National level Human Rights Commissions to address grievances of any nature faced by Indian citizens.

- India has taken no retrograde step to affect its bilateral relations with Pakistan nor threaten international peace and security. Pakistan, to the contrary, has taken a series of steps including, inter alia, recall of envoys, suspension of trade, suspension of bus and rail links, etc.

- India has an independent judiciary which is capable to look into the constitutionality of any amendments made to the Constitution of India.

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