Kashmir interlocutors' report likely by February end

Last Updated 09 February 2011, 04:29 IST

The Omar Abdullah government is keen to have a "final assessment" of the interlocutors on the situation and their possible "way forward" on Kashmir. This has been taken up with union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who visited Jammu early this month.

"The chief minister had taken up this issue with the home minister and suggested that an early roadmap would help in injecting confidence among the people who have been waiting for something to happen," an official told IANS.

The interlocutors -- journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and  economist M.M. Ansari -- who were appointed in October last year after the summer unrest in Kashmir Valley in which over 100 people were killed, will take another trip to the state this month.

They would attempt to reach the separatists who, so far, have refused to talk to the interlocutors.

"Whatever be the case, whether the separatists meet them or not, the interlocutors will give their report as they have inputs from all other sections of the state," the official said.

At this point of time, the fear is that in the absence of the interlocutors' report, people might get frustrated and the situation might deteriorate like in last summer.  "The people need to be given some hope," the official explained as earlier the interlocutors were given one year's time to submit the report, which was reduced to April this year and now it has been further cut to this month-end.

The ruling National Conference (NC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have started upping the ante on their respective formulas for a solution to the Kashmir crisis.

The National Conference is pitching for the restoration of greater autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, a near sovereign status for the state in which barring defence, communications and external affairs, it has control over all other matters and its own heads of the state and government.

The PDP is asking for self-rule which devolves powers to the grassroots level and seeks to have a similar arrangement on either side of the Line of Control between India and Pakistan.

(Published 09 February 2011, 04:29 IST)

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