Proposing a constitutional panel to review all central acts and articles extended to the state since 1952, the report said such a panel needed to bear in mind that “…J&K enjoys a special status in the Union, that they (residents) are both state subjects and Indian citizens.”Although the interlocutors — journalist Dilip Padgaonkar, academic Radha Kumar and former information commissioner M M Ansari — said J&K was a “constituent unit of the Indian Union”, BJP promptly rejected the recommendations as a dilution of J&K’s accession to India. The mainstream opposition PDP welcomed the move to make J&K’s “special status” a permanent feature but CM Omar Abdullah said he would need a few days to study the report. Stating that the “views expressed in the report are the views of interlocutors”, the home ministry said, “The government has not yet taken any decision on the report.” The interlocutors had submitted the report to home minister P Chidambaram in October last year. Interestingly the group suggested that for internal emergencies, prior consultation with the state government was required.
WHAT THEY RECOMMENDED Rules out return to pre-1953 position when Centre had authority over only defence, foreign affairs and communications ministries
Set up a constitutional committee to review all central laws extended to J&K after signing of 1952 agreement (laws like extension of jurisdiction of Supreme Court, Election Commission, CAG, NHRC, AFSPA, All India Services etc.)
Parliament won’t make laws applicable to the state unless it relates to internal and external security and vital economic interest
Delete the word ‘temporary’ from the heading of Article 370. Replace it with the word ‘special’
On Governor: The state government, after consultations with opposition parties, will give President three names, and then more if asked for
Article 356: Action of the governor to remain justiciable in the Supreme Court. A proviso that the governor will keep the state legislature under suspended animation and hold fresh elections within three months to be added
Article 312: The proportion of officers from the All India Services should be gradually reduced in favour of officers from the state
English nomenclatures of governor and CM should continue
Create three regional Councils, one each for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Devolve certain legislative, executive and financial powers to the Regional Councils.
All opportunities for cross-LoC cooperation should be promoted
Resume govt-Hurriyat dialogue
Encourage Pakistan to enter into dialogue (If stakeholders in J&K are willing to enter into a settlement, the door can always be kept open for Pakistan to join)
Search for solution should not be made contingent on India-Pakistan talks
Kashmir’s separatist leaders rejected the report submitted by the interlocutors, calling it a futile exercise. Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said interlocutors failed to address the political settlement of the J&K issue and demands of mainstream political parties, including returning to the pre-1953 position, which is one of the demands of the ruling National Conference. “This was simply a tactic to buy time by engaging people in this farcical exercise. Hurriyat’s stand was clear from the beginning. We knew interlocutors would focus on the Centre-state relationship, which is not what affects Kashmiris,” Mirwaiz said.
Hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani rejected the report totally. “We never recognized the appointment of interlocutors. It was part of a conspiracy of the government of India,” he said. JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, too, said the interlocutors ignored the political dimension. Panthers Party chairman Bhim Singh called the report “another fraud by India’s home minister”.