Govt keeps door open for separatists to end un­rest Driv­ing li­cence on mo­biles soon

WAY FOR­WARD Ra­j­nath spells out stand at a meet­ing with all-party del­e­ga­tion

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Saub­hadra Chat­terji let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The gov­ern­ment agreed with po­lit­i­cal par­ties on Wed­nes­day to con­tinue talks with “all stake­hold­ers” in Kash­mir, in­clud­ing the separatists, but re­mained non-com­mit­tal on the Op­po­si­tion’s de­mand for re­view­ing a con­tro­ver­sial act blamed for al­leged ex­cesses by se­cu­rity forces.

The Cen­tre’s stand on talks was spelt out by home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh dur­ing a meet­ing of the all-party del­e­ga­tion which re­turned on Tues­day after a two-day visit to the Val­ley where more than 70 peo­ple have been killed in vi­o­lent protests since July 9.

Singh also re­jected re­ports about a pos­si­ble crack­down on “some Hur­riyat lead­ers”, Op­po­si­tion lead­ers who at­tended the meet­ing said.

The re­ports had quoted se­nior home min­istry of­fi­cials as say­ing the gov­ern­ment ac­tion will in­clude scal­ing down their se­cu­rity, seiz­ing their pass­ports and scan­ning their bank trans­ac­tions.

A se­nior min­is­ter han­dling the Kash­mir is­sue had ear­lier told some op­po­si­tion lead­ers that Ap­ple has sold more than one bil­lion iPhones... iPhone 7 is the the best phone we’ve cre­ated. the Cen­tre was also mulling a group of po­lit­i­cal lead­ers to con­tinue talks with the Kash­miri peo­ple. How­ever, “the is­sue… was kept out of the meet­ing,” an op­po­si­tion leader said.

Faced with de­mands from lead­ers like CPI(M)’s Si­taram Yechury for lift­ing the Armed Forces (Spe­cial Pow­ers) Act from the Val­ley, fi­nance min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley un­der­lined how par­tial lift­ing of the law can ham­per op­er­a­tions by se­cu­rity forces against mil­i­tants.

Op­po­si­tion par­ties in the Cen­tre and rights ac­tivists have been de­mand­ing lift­ing AF­SPA from the state, al­leg­ing that se­cu­rity forces were vi­o­lat­ing hu­man rights un­der the pro­tec­tion of the leg­is­la­tion. AF­SPA is in force in Kash­mir and some states in the north­east.

Jait­ley said if AF­SPA is lifted from civil­ian ar­eas, the army’s hands will be tied dur­ing op­er­a­tions against mil­i­tants.

A state­ment is­sued after the meet­ing called for shun­ning the path of vi­o­lence and re­solv­ing “all is­sues through di­a­logue and dis­cus­sion.” Pel­let guns used spar­ingly, J&K govt tells high court MEA sum­mons Ba­sit over ‘dis­cour­tesy’ to en­voy Union home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh leaves a meet­ing at Par­lia­ment House with op­po­si­tion lead­ers.

You may soon no longer need to carry a phys­i­cal copy of your li­cence and ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tion cer­tifi­cate while driv­ing. In­stead, you can opt for a dig­i­tal driv­ing li­cence and reg­is­tra­tion cer­tifi­cate stored in a dig­i­tal locker that can be ac­cessed on a mo­bile phone or lap­top.

The new scheme will be sup­ported by DigiLocker, an ini­tia­tive un­der the NDA gov­ern­ment’s Dig­i­tal In­dia pro­gramme that pro­vides a plat­form for on­line stor­age of doc­u­ments and cer­tifi­cates. The new scheme hopes to elim­i­nate the use of phys­i­cal doc­u­ments and in­crease trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity as many peo­ple com­plain that they’re forced to bribe au­thor­i­ties be­cause they’re not car­ry­ing the doc­u­ment, de­spite pos­sess­ing valid papers.

“The sys­tem will not only elim­i­nate cor­rup­tion but is also a mega step to­wards re­al­is­ing Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s Dig­i­tal In­dia drive. Cit­i­zens can use this at air­ports as a valid iden­tity doc­u­ment,” Union road trans­port min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari said at the launch of the new ini­tia­tive on Wed­nes­day.

“If some­one is stopped, he or she can show the driv­ing li­cence on a mo­bile phone. This will ben­e­fit the com­mon masses and en­sure a cor­rup­tion free, trans­par­ent sys­tem de­void of red tape. Crores will ben­e­fit.”

SONU ME­HTA/HT PHOTO

TIM COOK,

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