‘People in JK Yearn for Accountability, Transparency in Governance’
Umer Maqbool (Greater Kashmir)
Srinagar: A day after Union Minister and National Conference (NC) president Dr Farooq Abdullah made it clear that United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi is yet to take decision on the resignation of Public Enterprises Minister, Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed, the Centre’s chief interlocutor on Kashmir, Dileep Padgaonkar Sunday said the Congress high command should take a decision on the matter in sync with the expectations of people of Jammu and Kashmir, who yearn for accountability and transparency in governance.
“As far as my viewpoint is concerned, there is overall sentiment for accountability and transparency in matters of governance in J&K and therefore decision on the matter (Peerzada’s issue) should in tone with the expectations of the people,” Padgaonkar told Greater Kashmir over phone.
Padgaonkar headed three member team of interlocutors appointed in the wake of 2010 unrest in which more than 115 youth were killed in the Valley.
“We hope that Congress, which too wants transparency and accountability, will take a decision on Peerzada issue that meets the aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Padgaonkar said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has acted in good spirit by ordering an inquiry following the revelation by media that Minister helped his foster son to pass exam through cheating, but the position of Congress over the issue is still unknown.
“It was the media which came out with expose that Minister helped his son to pass matric exam by cheating. Subsequently Chief Minister called for an inquiry and it proved that Minister’s son was helped to pass the exam. The CM was expected to drop the Minister from his team. Later, there were news reports that Congress high command was opposed to taking any action against the Minister. However, Dr Farooq Abdullah has said that Congress high command is yet to take a final view on the matter,” he said.
Following the expose by this newspaper on January 30, about how Imam Souban, foster son of former Education Minister Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed resorted to unfair means to pass matriculation examination in 2009, the state government ordered a probe by the Crime Branch. In its revelation, CB said three papers of the Minister’s son carried two handwritings. Following the mounting public pressure, Omar Abdullah divested Peerzada of the Education portfolio he was holding since the formation of the NC-Congress coalition government in 2009. However, Peerzada continues to hold the portfolio of cabinet minister the government as Congress high command, according to him (Peerzada) refused to accept his resignation.
The Centre’s chief interlocutor added that nobody in Jammu and Kashmir wants to tolerate any wrongdoings of public servants and people want transparency and accountability in governance and administration.
“In all the interactions that the group of interlocutors had everyone has said that there is need for transparent, accountable and efficient governance,” he said.