PDP finds itself alone over dual currency issue

New Delhi, Wed, 16 Apr 2008 NI Wire

The Opposition Bhartiya Janata Party considering the forthcoming assembly election in Jammu and Kahmir sharpened its attack on People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for its proposal to use both Indian and Pakistani currency in the state after it becomes a free economic zone and demanded Congress to break its alliance with the party.

The Congress on its part also reacted sharply and condemned the idea of PDP leader and the former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed that Pakistani currency should be allowed in the state.

“It is a strange demand. I don’t think, the government can agree to this,” said Minister of State for Home Shakeel Ahmed.

Further the State congress spokesperson rejected the demand of using such currency has any parallel with the Europe’s common currency, the Euro by saying that “Euro was in circulation in all the countries and not in one part of a country.”

Union Minister Saifuddin Soz also condemned the idea of Mufit’s of using dual currency in the state was extremely deplorable and such type of statement should not be raised from any public platform.

Party spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan later tried to avoid the issue by restricting himself from further commenting by saying that the PDP spokesperson denied that Mufti had made any such remark.

As per the reports Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had called in a public rally for allowing a dual currency in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Like Europe which has one currency, we want the currency of both the countries run in Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control,” Mufti said while addressing a rally at Budhal in Rajouri district on Saturday.

“As in Europe where people travel to nearly 40 countries on single passport and without any visa, we want people to travel on both sides of Kashmir without any restrictions. We want Jammu and Kashmir to become a model for SAARC nations which will have one economic zone,” he added.

People`s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday joined the chorus with her father saying there was nothing wrong in such a proposition.

In her attempt to defending her view point she said while talking to a news channel, “Our PM wants borders between India and Pakistan dissolved allowing people to people contact. If that will be the case, then both sides will informally begin accepting each other’s currency. If EU can have the system, why can’t we?”

In fact it was a month old demand when Mehbooba Mufti had first evoked during her visit to Pugwash Conference in Pakistan supplemented with the statement that dual power-sharing arrangement between India and Pakistan for undivided Kashmir could bring an amicable settlement to the issue.

As was expected, the protests over her dual currency remark broke out in the state. The demand has come at a time when the state is heading for the assembly elections, which may be announced anytime after August.

As per the source, a leader of the Congress condemned PDP for speaking on currency, which is a central subject, and PDP has no right to speak about it. The Congress has discarded its ally PDP’s dual demand of power sharing and dual currency.



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