Former legislator and AIP chairman Er Rasheed on Monday appealed to the pro-India parties and the Joint Resistance leadership (JRL) to take a joint stand to stop New Delhi from “looting” the resources of Jammu and Kashmir.Addressing a news conference at Kashmir Press Club, Srinagar, Rasheed appealed to the political parties and civil society to take a stand on the decision to hand over Rattle Power project coming up on Chenab river in Kishtwar to the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).“The agreement is unfortunate and exchanging silently the MoU between officials of state power Development department and NHPC in presence of Prime Minister speaks volumes about New Delhi,” he said.Rasheed also narrated how he was “dragged and manhandled” by the police from his bedroom on the eve of Modi’s arrival in Srinagar. Rasheed appealed to the NC, PDP, civil society and joint resistance leadership to “move beyond words” and tell New Delhi louder and clear that continuous “looting” of resources of Kashmiris is not acceptable. “While NHPC has already failed to abide by its previous agreements made with J&K government from time to time, one fails to understand why one more dream power project was gifted to NHPC,” he said, while accusing the NHPC of acting like East India Company.“What happened to the previous MOUs, ensuring return of Power projects including Uri-I, Uri-II, Salal, Dool Hasti, Kishan Ganaga, Seva-II, Nimoo, Bazgo, Chuttak having a total output of around 2400 MW to state government?” he asked.“The MOU signed in July 2000 has been thrown in dustbin and not only the working groups but the Rangarajan committee had also recommended return of power projects to the state government, in order to make state financially resourceful and sound,” he added.
Rasheed said there are credible inputs that after Rattle Kirthai-1, Kirthai-2 and Sawlakote power projects having a capacity of 3200 MW will be gifted to NHPC and people of state will get nothing out of the deed.“Let people of Jammu also understand that return of existing power projects and gifting of new ones is not issue of just one region but that of the entire state and if New Delhi respects the sentiments of people of state and the agreements made with them from time to time these power projects will bring huge job opportunities and avenues to the state,” he said.Rasheed accused New Delhi of looting resources of J&K and reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his “threat” given to Pakistani government of cancellation of Indus Water Treaty. “While New Delhi has sold water resources of J&K to Pakistan at the cost of rights and interests of people of J&K, it threatens Pakistan to cancel the deal when its own interests are in danger. It is high time that New Delhi should compensate the losses suffered by J&K on account of Indus Water Treaty,” he said. Appealing PM Modi to be “realistic”, he said: “While Modi Ji claims to break backbone of militancy in Kashmir he needs to be reminded that militancy is creation of India’s denial to fulfil commitments made with people of J&K at United Nations. “Once India shows willingness to resolve Kashmir dispute with sincerity Kashmiris will respond and New Delhi will not need to issue threats to people of J&K, as they need peace more than anybody else but with honor and dignity which can be achieved only by resolving seventy year long political dispute on basis of justice and in its historical perspective.”