J&K interlocutors submit report
Regional councils for all three regions of Jammu and Kashmir to address local aspirations and to reduce alienation from the national mainstream and measures to improve governance —with a focus on women and children—are part of the interlocutors’ report submitted on Wednesday. The three interlocutors led by Dileep Padgaonkar gave their report to home minister P Chidambaram and while its contents were not made public, it is believed to have suggested elements of a political solution to situations that led to the unrest in the Kashmir Valley last year in which 120 lives were lost. The report has looked to reflect a broad section of opinion in J&K, including positions held by separatists, although Padgaonkar said they had “missed the bus” by not meeting the interlocutors. He said the report could have been more meaningful if separatists had met him and his colleagues M M Ansari and Radha Kumar. The report is, however, not believed to have recommended a return to the pre-1953 status as suggested by some media reports. It is learnt to have devoted an entire chapter on the arguments put forward on withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act from areas which have not reported major violence in recent months. Padgaonkar treaded carefully on the sensitive issue and said the views of all sections, including the security forces, have been taken into account. The report looks at regional autonomy, devolution of power, economic development, bringing the state into the national mainstream, specific issues concerning women and children. It will soon be shared with all political parties and may then be made public.