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In first meeting of Shah-Doval, Mission Kashmir gets top billing

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New Delhi, June 04: Mission Kashmir would be top on the priority list for Union Home Minister, Amit Shah and National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval.

The focus of the Defence Ministry led by Rajnath Singh too has decided to focus extensively on Kashmir. Rajnath Singh said on Monday that he would make peace a permanent feature in Jammu and Kashmir.

File photo of Amit Shah and Ajit Doval

Shah on Monday took stock of country's internal security situation, continuing the tradition of regularly getting first-hand information from top security officials, including National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, officials said.

Shah was given a detailed briefing on the prevailing security situation in the country by Doval, Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Intelligence Bureau chief Rajiv Jain, besides others.

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Apart from the hinterland, the home minister was apprised of on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in border areas, an official said.

Sources tell OneIndia that the roadmap ahead for Kashmir is set. There would not be much tweaking to the earlier policy laid down by the previous government. The zero tolerance policy against terrorists and separatists would continue and the Army would continue to get a free hand to clean up the mess.

The source also added that the first priority is to ensure that peace returns to the Valley, following which the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits would be taken up. The new dispensation aims at achieving this over the next one year, the source further added.

The government is keen on annulling Article 35 A and abrogating Article 370. This is something that would get top billing by the government. The first would be to deal with Article 35 A and officers say that once this is annulled it takes the sting out of Article 370.

Article 35 A of the Constitution states, " Saving of laws with respect to permanent residents and their rights - Notwithstanding anything contained in this Constitution, no existing law in force in the State of J&K, and no law hereafter enacted by the Legislature of the State:

(a) defining the classes of persons who are, or shall be, permanent residents of the State of J&K; or

(b) conferring on such permanent residents any special rights and privileges or imposing upon other persons any restrictions as respects-

(i) employment under the State Government;

(ii) acquisition of immovable property in the State; (iii) settlement in the State; or (iv) right to scholarships and such other forms of aid as the State Government may provide, shall be void on the ground that it is inconsistent with or takes away or abridges any rights conferred on the other citizens of India by any provision of this part."

(iv) right to scholarships and such other forms of aid as the State Government may provide, shall be void on the ground that it is inconsistent with or takes away or abridges any rights conferred on the other citizens of India by any provision of this part."

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Article 370 on the other hand is a special status that is accorded to J&K. According to this the union government would have control over external affairs, defence and communications. ‎ It cannot declare a financial emergency. The government of India cannot legislate on matters ‎provided in the union and concurrent list.

The union government will have to consult with the state government in any matter affecting the state. The residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians. It gives a great deal of autonomy to the state government. It makes it almost another union government barring few powers which have been mentioned above.

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