Laws enacted and amended by the successive central governments from time to time during last seventy years have been overtly and covertly extended to Jammu by the successive state governments to erode article 370 guaranteeing special status to this troubled Himalyan border state which has been at the core of difficulties in India-Pakistan relations since 1947. The latest controversy surrounds the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the state. Ironically the two rival Kashmir centric regional parties PDP and National Conference though started journey to GST implementation with parleys at the All Parties Consultative Committee (APCC) for broader consenus but are not ending up with accusations and counter accusation against each other. Following heated argument with the National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana over GST implementation and the present tax collection mechanism in the state the Minister for Information Technology, Youth Services and Sports Imran Ansari convened a press conference in hurry to accuse National Conference leaders Ab Rahim Rather and Devender Singh Rana of adopting GST for the private companies owned by them. People are not bothered about the involvement of individuals in adoption of GST for private companies but they are concerned with the special status which has been eroded by new acts and amendments at least forty times during last seventy years. Hype over the GST implementation and abortive attempts to extend a controversial amendment passed by the parliament shows the ill intentions of the ruling PDP running the affairs of the state government in alliance with BJP the party which lists the abrogation of article 370 on the top of its core political agenda. Both the words and actions of the Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu are sufficient enough to indicate that the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) is working on dictates of its ally BJP against the whims and whishes of the people of Kashmir who voted the party to power in 2014 assembly elections on the commitments of the political engagements with separatists for the final resolution of Kashmir issue, increase in the number of cross LoC travel and trade routes and withdrawal of draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
Backtracking over the commitments of political engagements, cross LoC connections and abrogation of draconian laws has already brought into disrepute PDP under the leadership of incumbent Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and imposition of yet another central law to Jammu & Kashmir state against the whims and wishes of the people would be tantamount to inking the obituary of special status by PDP.
The PDP leaders don’t remember the day why they were beating chest on the deaths of civilians in crowd control policy as the party in power this time did not bother even to agree to the demands of a judicial probe into civilian killings. The party boasting of its democratic tradition exercised under the constitution of India and the constitution of Jammu & Kashmir is now taking lame excuses only to extend the application of an objectionable legislation of the Indian parliament to state for implementation of GST in the state. Backtracking over the commitments of political engagements, cross LoC connections and abrogation of draconian laws has already brought into disrepute PDP under the leadership of incumbent Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and imposition of yet another central law to Jammu & Kashmir state against the whims and wishes of the people would be tantamount to inking the obituary of special status by PDP.