|JAMMU, Dec 15: Former Union Home Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has once again endorsed the October 2011 interlocutors’ report on J&K and regretted that the Congress-led UPA Government didn’t implement it, thus “adding to anger of Kashmiri people”.|
“The UPA Government should have acted on the report submitted by the three interlocutors on (Jammu &) Kashmir in 2011, but it was not handed properly,” said Chidambaram, adding that “talks are the only way forward to resolve Kashmir’s problems”.
The three interlocutors were: senior journalist Dilip Padgaonkar, academic Radha Kumar and bureaucrat MM Ansari. The three-member panel was appointed by the Centre with a mandate to suggest the contours of a political settlement to the Jammu and Kashmir problem. They were appointed in October 2010 by the Government of India in the wake of spurt in militant-related activities in the Valley during the rule of Omar Abdullah. The violence had left over 110 persons dead and many injured, all in the Kashmir Valley. They were asked to submit the report within a period of 12 months and they did so.
The interlocutors’ report had recommended a “permanent political settlement of the Kashmir problem”. The report had dealt with issues pertaining to economic, social and cultural aspects of Jammu & Kashmir. It aimed at a permanent political settlement of the Kashmir problem.
The report was the outcome of the interlocutors’ interaction with more than 600 delegations, mass meetings in all 22 districts of Jammu and Kashmir and three roundtable conferences of women activists, scholars and cultural activists.
The report had, among other things, suggested that “AFSPA should be withdrawn and all the Central laws introduced in the state after August 9, 1953 be reviewed so satisfy the aspirations of the Kashmiri people”.
The report was highly Kashmir-centric and it had virtually nothing for the people of Jammu and Ladakh, internally-displaced Kashmiri Hindus, Hindu-Sikh refugees from Pakistan and refugees from PoJK.
The suggestion of Chidambaram, if accepted and given an effect to, would mean semi-independence for the state or a step short of complete independence from India. It would also adds to the woes of the already suffering minorities in Jammu and Ladakh.