China invokes Roshni Act for Aksai Chin

Mar 27th, 2014 | By | Category: Featured, South Asia

mapjkIn a stunning diplomatic development China has formally asked J&K government to legalise its control of disputed Aksai Chin region under the state’s Roshni Act, that gives property rights over state land to illegal occupants.

The application filed by Chinese Ambassador in New Delhi has befuddled governments in New Delhi as well as in Srinagar, while scores of armchair analysts across television networks complained of breathlessness on air.

Chinese Ambassador in New Delhi, Wei Wei told reporters that the “initiative” was in the spirit of dispute resolution.

“This (Aksai Chin) is very much Chinese territory but India has some doubts, so in the spirit of good neighbourly relations, and China’s ethos of amicable dispute resolution we are moving this application with Indian Kashmir government under their Roshni Act,” Wei Wei said.

“We think this is the best way to resolve our differences. It is not illegal occupation, but if you think so, you can waive off your claim under your laws,” he said.

A spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that they were in touch with the state government and could not comment further on the issue for now.

“We haven’t studied the file yet, it is with the J&K government, and we are in touch with them,” said Syed Akbaruddin, MEA spokesman.

Sources in the Home ministry told Dapaan that the state government was not legally bound to consult the Union government, but was expected to follow the evolved standard procedure of taking their dictations.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, however, said the file would be processed under rules.

“Under the revolutionary Roshni Act any illegal occupant is entitled to propriety rights against a nominal sum. I am happy that China has respected our laws, and I think we should reciprocate. It is time to settle our border differences,” Abdullah said.

The Chinese move has already stirred jubilation in NC and Congress camps. “At the end of our term when we thought our main source of revenue has dried up, this is a God send opportunity,” said Finance Minister Rahim Rather.

Sources said that China is planning to rope in a team of consultants to avoid inflated bills from J&K government.The team is likely include some top names from the state with experience in getting prime properties at dirt cheap rates from the government

“We are hoping for charges of around Rs 2 per sq km or less, given the previous record of granting property worth Rs 25000 crores for 75 crores,” said Wei Wei.

Wei Wei did not give any details about the consultants, but sources said former JK Bank Chairman HaseebDrabu, former bureaucrat ShafiPandit and a retired High Court Judge were the favourite front runners.

P Stobdan, a senior fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses told Dapaan that India should seize the ‘golden chance’.

“The application means China is admitting its illegal occupation. It doesn’t matter that we will have to legalise it now. What matters is their admission. However, the only thing we have to cautious about is the nomenclature used, just to be sure they are talking only of Aksai Chin and not whole of Ladakh,” said Stobdan.

“More importantly, the government should understand that we were never going to get it, never ever, so this is the most mostmost respectable solution to the issue. And I hope Pakistan also takes the cue,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abdullah told Dapaan that the state government has also received applications from Indian Army requesting that the properties occupied by them should be legalized.

“Apart from the state land, the army also occupies many private properties, and they are seeking ammendments in the law, to get those legalized too – as if somebody is going to throw them out,” Abdullah said.

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