Azad urges Centre to implement its assurance to J&K leaders on statehood in ‘short-term'

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Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad (File Photo)

JAMMU: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday urged the central government that assurances given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to Jammu and Kashmir political leaders in the all-party meeting in Delhi should be implemented in "short-term" as it will benefit the people.
Azad, while talking to media on Monday night, was referring to the restoration of statehood and holding elections after delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir as assured by the prime minister and the home minister to J&K leaders in the meeting last month.
Batting strongly for holding assembly elections, he said for the past four years, there is “no representative” in J&K, which is the biggest cause of under development in the union territory.
"It will be our request to the Central government that assurances given by Prime Minister and Home Minister to the all-party meeting should be implemented in short-term rather than long-term, or medium-term, as it will benefit the people," Azad said.
He said the governor's rule is not enough for ensuring progress in J&K.
"Governor's rule alone is not enough to make progress in Jammu and Kashmir. It is very important to have an assembly too. We have got feedback from the people as well," the Congress leader said.
He said that it is very important for everyone including political parties to participate in the elections in J-K at this stage now because if anyone refuses to contest the election, “we will be in trouble again which I don't want at all”.
He said people will take part in the polls in a “good number if J&K is given the status of a state first”.
Azad, while replying to a question about the Pegasus row, said he was not bothered about it.
Replying to another question about a new order of government in J&K related to security clearance for people to get passports or jobs, Azad said that in Kashmir stone-pelters used to be locked up in jails even before this order.
"This is nothing new and everyone knows that anyone who speaks against the country has to stay in jail and it doesn't require any verification,” he added.
Azad downplayed the differences in the party in J&K.

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