Presence of Army major bottleneck to economic development of Kashmir, says Former interlocutor Ansari

SRINAGAR – Claiming that presence of Indian Security Forces in hotels, residential houses, orchards and other areas is the major bottleneck in the economic development of Kashmir, former interlocutor M. M. Ansari Wednesday appealed to the Peoples Democratic Party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to urge upon New Delhi to grant international status to the Srinagar Airport.

“Srinagar may have an ‘international’ airport, but no international flights run from there. It is the right time for Mufti Muhammad Sayeed to include this point as well in his list that he has forwarded to Bhartiya Janata Party for government formation in Jammu and Kashmir,” Ansari told CNS adding that the running of international flights from Srinagar Airport will give a boost to the economy of Kashmir and it will certainly help the business community who can export their articles without facing hardships.

Ansari said that BJP is ready to go to any extent to form government in Jammu and Kashmir as after drabbing in Delhi elections it is well aware of this fact that it will never secure such a number (25 seats) from Jammu and Kashmir again. “PDP should not budge and it should use all its resources and influence to get the contentious AFSPA completely revoked from the State especially from Kashmir Valley where people have suffered on account of this draconian act,” he said.

Ansari said that it is high time for PDP to force India to vacate its Army from residential areas, hotels, orchards and State Land. “We had infact in our recommendations asked the then Central Government to revoke AFSPA and ask Army to quit from hotels, residential houses and state land, but the Government of India did not take our recommendations seriously and acted as an ostrich,” he said.

Former Chief Information Commissioner said that the conditions that PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed has put before BJP are such that once agreed will give succor to the miserable lot of Kashmir. “PDP should not give importance to Article 370 as it is an open fact that no power in India can abrogate it. If abrogated, Kashmir will become independent. Instead of focussing on Article 370, PDP should ask New Delhi to accord full status of International Airport to Srinagar Airport,” he said adding that BJP is helpless and has no option but to succumb to the demands of Peoples Democratic Party.