Kashmir Inc Turns Down Economic Package
By Bilal Hussain
21 September, 2010
In a significant development here the business fraternity in Kashmir valley prefers to talk about ‘gross human rights violation’ over financial losses they have been suffering from past three months of unrest on Monday in a meet with the all-party 39-member team from New Delhi.
Most of the representatives of commerce, trade, and industrial bodies told Kashmir Times that they are least worried about the business losses suffered by them. However, they are concerned by over hundred killings of people in Kashmir by the police and paramilitary troopers since June this year.
President Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Nazir Ahmad Dar told KASHMIR TIMES that he appraised the all-party team from New Delhi about the killings of innocent Kashmiris and demanded investigation through an impartial agency and guilty ‘security personnel’ be punished.
The KCCI has handed over a memorandum to the all-party team wherein they seek “Kashmir problem needs to be solved in all seriousness in its historic perspective. It needs to be emphasized that a symptomatic treatment is simply not the option.” The memorandum also mentions, “Process leading to de-militarization of state needs to be started at once. Black laws like AFPSA, Disturbed Area Act and PSA need to be revoked at once. The rhetoric of zero degree tolerance of human rights violations needs to be translated into a reality on ground.”
The business community has turned down any kind of economic compensation. The President, Federation Chamber of Industry Kashmir (FCIK), Shakeel Qalander who also met the all-party team echoed similar concerns and while briefing the delegation said, “We don’t ask for economic packages and compensation for losses. All we want is an end to perpetual spree of killing especially our youth. We demand constitution of Truth and Reconciliatory Commission for inquiry into the recent killings to book the culprits.”
He also said, “Our youth is in no way ready to accept security forces in every nook and corner of the valley. They don’t want to see forces any more here. Remove forces from all major towns and cities immediately,” he said. “Release political prisoners, including the children,” he demanded.
President, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers' Federation (KTMF), Mohammad Sadiq Baqal while sharing his views said police and CRPF disowned curfew passes and invitation letters issued by the authorities at many places. “We faced lots of hurdles on way to SKICC,” he lamented. “The innocent killings should be immediately stopped. Kashmir dispute is a 63 years long pending issue and should be addressed through political solution in accordance to the aspirations of Kashmiri people,” he voiced.
President, Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHARA) Siraj Ahmad told KT that they have formed an umbrella body which includes many other trade bodies in the valley. “We collectively condemn over hundred innocent killings by troopers and demand justice,” he adds.
On an angry note he said that they where promised 30 minutes meeting but all of a sudden they winded it in 15 minutes. “We were asked to leave,” he said.
He also termed the meeting as a move to ‘hoodwink the world community’. “They are misleading their own people,” Siraj added.
“History stands as witness that non-resolution of this problem has played havoc with the economy of the state and made it to incur colossal losses. It needs no mention that this state is bestowed with tremendous natural resources and if such resources are properly exploited then the state will be most economically advanced and prosperous one. Take for example the water resources of the State which have been used to the detriment of the State through Indus water Treaty of 1960,” President KCCI said.