Working groups on Kashmir: Azad wants suggestions implemented


Jammu : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to implement the recommendations of working groups on how to tackle the internal dimensions of the Kashmir problem.

Support TwoCircles

The prime minister had set up five working groups on Kashmir at the conclusion of the second round table conference in Srinagar in May 2006. These groups were to deal with the issues of confidence building measures within the state; strengthening of relations across the Line of Control (LoC); good governance; economic development and the centre-state relationship.

Barring the group dealing with centre-state relationship, which is dwelling on the critical issues of self-rule and autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir, all others have submitted their reports. They were adopted at the third round table conference in New Delhi this April.

Azad took up the issue with Manmohan Singh in the presence of representatives of home and defence ministries in New Delhi Wednesday evening and reminded him that the delay in the implementation of the working group recommendations had caused problems, according to official sources.

“This issue was discussed threadbare,” an official spokesman said in a statement after the meeting that lasted over an hour.

The groups had recommended that the government should rehabilitate militants who give up arms and the youth who return from across the LoC; the special powers of the security forces be take away; that there should be an employment package for Kashmiri migrant youth; there should be strengthening of trade and civilian traffic across the LoC and transparency in the administration.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Peoples Democratic Forum (PDF) – two of the allies of the coalition government – have been seeking early implementation of the working group reports.