Significant Improvement In JK Situation: PC4 January 2011
New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram Tuesday said there has been a significant improvement in the law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir as the government-appointed interlocutors have been able to “change the discourse” in the troubled valley. “The three-month period of agitation was an unfortunate and deeply regrettable chapter. However, after the visit of the all-party parliamentary delegation and the appointment of interlocutors, there has been a significant improvement in the law and order situation,” Chidambaram said while presenting the Report Card of the Ministry of Home Affairs for the last month. “In particular, the interlocutors have been able to change the discourse and have been able to persuade a number of stakeholders to offer suggestions for a political solution,” the home minister said. He said a parliamentary panel discussed matters relating to Jammu and Kashmir in December, while the interlocutors - senior journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, noted academician Radha Kumar and economist MM Ansari - visited the state for the third time last month. “During the visit, they met Governor (NN Vohra) and Chief Minister (Omar Abdullah), senior leaders of mainstream political parties, and senior administrative and police officials. They also met 130 delegations in the Jammu city, Poonch, Rajouri, Srinagar and Langate,” he said. The interlocutors were named on October 13 after the visit by 39-mmeber MPs delegation in September last year. He said the three month period of agitation was an unfortunate and deeply regrettable chapter. As many as 112 civilians were killed and hundreds others injured allegedly at the hands of paramilitary CRPF and police. Chidambaram said the Special Task Force for Jammu undertook field visits to various districts of Jammu region between December 21 and 24 last year. The home minister also referred to the discussions about the ‘Parliamentary Consultative Committee’ meeting in New Delhi on December 13. During the meeting, he had asserted that Kashmir was a political issue and had announced that the contours of a ‘political solution’ to the problem were likely to emerge in few months. He had said that the interlocutors were asked now to focus on finding the contours of a political solution. The meeting had also emphasized the need to create employment opportunities, especially for the educated youth besides amending the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).