Process for formation of Kashmir Senate initiated in US

The Senate would represent all regions including IIOJK, Ladakh and AJK


Our Correspondent August 05, 2020
PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

NEW YORK:

Chief Spokesperson of Kashmir Global Council Professor Dr Humaira Gowher on Wednesday said that KGC is pleased to announce the initiation of the process for formation of the Kashmir Senate in the United States.

Giving details, Professor Gowher stated that on December 22, 2019, the KGC hosted a conference in New York to discuss the proposal for the formation of the Kashmir Senate, which would represent all regions of the state including Illegal Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), Ladakh and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

The Senate proposal was to be further discussed in March 2020, at the KGC-hosted conference in Dallas. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the conference she said has been rescheduled, and the date will be announced later.

In the meantime, KGC has decided that given the uncertainty about hosting a physical conference, it would be prudent to initiate online deliberations for the Senate formation.

On July 3, 2020, in a KGC board of directors meeting, it was decided that the Kashmir Senate formation will take place in a phased manner across all regions of the state. This announcement marks the launching of the first phase, which consists of receiving nominations for the senate from each constituency. In the second phase, online deliberations will be held with all nominees to align common goals and policies. In the third and final phase, the names of senators will be made public. The nomination process will stay open until all the seats are filled.

The Kashmir Senate will comprise 152 seats derived from the current electoral constituencies in the assemblies of all regions of the state. The breakdown of seats is as follows: 87 from the region of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, 41 from the region of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The goal of the Senate is to create a collective representative character for the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir as it stood in 1947.

On August 1, 2020, the KGC board of directors appointed Mufti Showkat Farooqi the Vice President of KGC as the convener of the Kashmir Senate to conduct, coordinate, and facilitate the process of Senate formation. He is a graduate of Columbia Law School and currently practices as an attorney in New York State.

Professor Gowher also expressed her pleasure in welcoming Salim Nanaji from Srinagar, Kashmir as a new board member of KGC. Nanji is a well-known political personality who has contributed, sacrificed, and suffered years of incarceration in Indian prisons for his political beliefs. He is a stalwart of Kashmir's struggle for independence since 1987 and is known for his uprightness.

"We are also pleased to announce that we are receiving nominations from all regions and the nominees are currently undergoing vetting. We will announce the first list of senators as soon as the vetting process is completed," she added.

The KGC also condemned the abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A saying we do not want to give it more importance as Kashmiris final destination is freedom from India and not the restoration of Article-370.

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