Jammu, August 03 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, more than 300 lawyers of Jammu, today, unanimously passed a resolution for strengthening and retention of Article 35-A of the Constitution of India.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of senior advocate A V Gupta at a hall in Jammu High Court. The other prominent lawyers who expressed their views were Mohammad Aslam Goni, S C Gupta, K K Pangotra, Abdul Hamid Qazi, Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed, Pawan Kundal, Murtaza Khan, M R Qureshi, Ehsan Mirza, Shah Mohammad Chaudhary and A H Butt.

In his presidential remarks, A V Gupta submitted that late Maharaja Hari Singh had executed instrument of accession with certain conditions which later came out in the shape of Article 35-A read with Article 370 of the Constitution of India. He submitted if Article 35-A or Article 370 is deleted then accession of J&K with dominion of India gets shaky. He further said Article 35-A is beneficial for the permanent residents of J&K and one of the examples he quoted is free education from Class 1st up to university level.

Former Advocate General M A Goni lambasted the critics of Article 35-A and strongly expressed the need of creating mass awareness amongst the people of Kashmir regarding the retention of Article 35-A. He quoted several judgments of the apex court and High Court of the territory and was of the view that petitions challenging Article 35-A were not maintainable.

K K Pangotra strongly advocated the retention of Article 35-A and further submitted that it is only Jammu people who will be adversely affected with the influx of huge population from Indian states as no one will settle in Kashmir Valley and only the resources of Jammu shall be exploited at the cost of Jammu people.

Similar views were expressed by Advocates A H Qazi, Murtaza Khan, M R Qureshi, Ehsan Mirza, Shah Mohammad Choudhary, Sarfaraz Hamid Rather, Mohammad Aslam Butt, Ayaz Hamal, M I Sherkhan, Altaf Hussain Janjua, Sheikh Altaf Hussain, F S Butt, Mohammad Irfaan Khan, N D Qazi, Zulqer Nain Sheikh, Ajaz Chowdhary, Mumtaz Choudhary, Javed Iqbal, Sheikh Ayaz Hussain, H A Farooqi, Wasim Akram, Khawaja Mohammad Rashid, Sikander Hayat Khan, Zaheer Kamlak, Z A Mughal, Waseem Bukhari, Mohammad Ayaz Khan and Sarfaraz Bukhari.

Advocate Supriya Chouhan, while speaking for the retention of Article 35-A, submitted that Article 35-A protects and saves the local laws of Kashmir and also speaks about certain rights and privileges given to the permanent residents of Kashmir. She had a dig on the critics of Article 35-A that the people who want scrapping of this Article should be ready to surrender the amenities and concessions being permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir before demanding scrapping of this Article. Similar views were expressed by Advocates Rupika and Monika Bhagat. Advocate Zahida Parveen also spoke on the occasion and strongly advocated the retention of Article 35-A.

Former President of Bar Association Doda Syed Asim Hashmi and former President Bar Association Poonch, Raja Mohammad Abbas Khan, also spoke on the occasion and complimented the senior members of Jammu Bar for organizing a meet to discuss the Constitutional aspect of Article 35-A. Both of them extended full cooperation and support of Peer Panchal and Chenab Valley Lawyers and urged Jammu Lawyers to visit Muffasil Bars and entire Jammu Province for creating mass awareness regarding the retention of Article 35-A.

Today number of Muffasil/District Bars also held interactions on the retention of Article 35-A and in this regard Advocate Haq Nawaz Mirza, President Bar Association Rajouri, strongly supported the retention of Article 35-A and similar were the views expressed by Advocate Yasir Janjua President Bar Association Surankote. Advocate Basharat Khan President of Bar Association, Mendhar, expressed similar views along with Advocates Sarwar Chouhan and Akbar Janjua for the retention of Article 35-A.

Advocate Ch Nazir, President of Bar Association, Budhal/ Koteranka (Rajouri), and Advocate Shaheen Ajaz, President of Bar Association, Thanamandi, also demanded retention of the Article 35-A.

Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed conducted the proceedings of the meeting and thanked all the participants for enlightening the members of legal fraternity about the significance of Article 35-A and Article 370.


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