- J&K Governor says he cannot predict the fate of state's special status
- Governor has assured Articles 370, 35A won't be scrapped: Omar Abdullah
- Centre needs to clarify its position on the matter: Omar Abdullah
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Saturday said that while he cannot predict the fate of the state's special status, there was "nothing to worry" about for now. The remark came hours after National Conference leader Omar Abdullah met him to enquire if the centre was planning to make a move in this direction.
"They've gone satisfied. Whatever they expected from me I did. As far as I know, there's no inclination that something's going to happen here. I don't know about tomorrow, that's not in my hands. But till today, there's nothing to worry," he said.
Omar Abdullah told reporters after the meeting that while Mr Malik has assured him that Articles 370 and 35A will not be scrapped, it was the centre that needs to clarify its position on the matter. "He (the Governor) assured us that there was no movement on (repealing) Article 370 or Article 35A or delimitation (of constituencies in the state). However, the Governor is not the final word on Jammu and Kashmir. The Government of India is. So we want to hear from the government in parliament," he said.
Article 35A allows the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define who is a permanent resident of the state. It also grants residents of special rights and privileges, such as the right to own property in the state. Article 370 provides autonomy to the status.
During his meeting with the Governor, Omar Abdullah also expressed concern over the build-up of troops in the Kashmir Valley and government advisories asking Amarnath pilgrims as well as tourists to leave. To this, Mr Malik clarified that these actions were the result of a serious security situation arising from intelligence reports on attacks by terrorists backed by the Pakistan army.
Because of the advisory, scores of tourists and pilgrims left the Valley in droves on Friday while others scrambled to the Srinagar airport. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation also told airlines that they may need to operate additional flights from Srinagar if the need arises.
"What they are saying does make sense when you look at things in an isolated manner. Yes... troops are rotated. Yes... the current columns of troops have been here for over six months. So what they are saying does make sense. But collectively, along with these orders (the travel advisory), it has caused some distress," Omar Abdullah said, adding that a peaceful Jammu and Kashmir works to everybody's benefit.
Sources said the centre moved 25,000 troops to the region on Thursday, less than a week after 10,000 soldiers were dispatched.
(With inputs from Agencies)