J&K Report Questions Pak Stand On Plebiscite

J&K Report Questions Pak Stand On Plebiscite

14 October 2011
Times of India
Vishwa Mohan

New Delhi: The report of the interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir, which talks about a 'permanent political settlement' for the troubled state, has explained in detail the 'misinterpretation' of the United Nations resolution made by both Pakistan and the separatists. It has even questioned Islamabad's move to cede certain territory to China. One chapter of the report is learnt to have explained the UN resolution on J&K. It deals in detail as to how Pakistan and separatists in the state have conveniently ignored one key point of the resolution that refers to withdrawal of Islamabad from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) before even exploring an option of 'plebiscite'. The chapter says that the UN resolution talked about ceasefire, withdrawal of Pakistan from PoK and plebiscite. It says though Pakistan accepted 'ceasefire' and has been supporting separatists for 'plebiscite', it has not moved a bit on handing over the administration of the area occupied by it to India. This particular chapter also points out that Pakistan has virtually changed the demographic profile of PoK over the years, but such things have not happened in the Indian side due to existing laws like Article 370 which prohibit people from other Indian states to buy property and settle there. The report has also taken note of the areas which have been handed over to China by Pakistan. It asked a question whether the neighbouring country had not violated the UN resolution by doing so. Interestingly, the report, submitted by the interlocutors - Dileep Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and M M Ansari - to Union home minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday, has not used even once 'popular' words that are being used in the political discourse of Jammu and Kashmir. Be it 'autonomy' (being used by the National Conference) or 'self-rule' (used by People's Democratic Party) or the separatists' choice of 'azadi' and 'right to self-determination', the single volume report having a number of annexures has preferred to give them a miss without ignoring the 'intent'. Sources privy to the details said that more powers to the people of three different regions of the state - Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh - was the key but the report did not use such words and phrases, possibly to shun controversy for a bigger cause of fulfilling the aspirations of the people. The annexure has, however, mentioned all the documents including the 'autonomy report' of the NC, 'self-rule framework' of the PDP and even various public remarks made by separatists from time to time. The main section of the report is mainly focused on recommendations for the economic well-being of the people of the state, their socio-cultural aspirations and various confidence building measures not only for the Kashmir Valley but also for the people of Jammu and Ladakh. The report - divided in various chapters dealing with issues like devolution of powers, economic development, bringing people into the national mainstream, specific issues concerning women and children and others - will soon be shared with all (political) party delegations before being made public. The panel was formed after last year's stone-pelting crisis in which nearly 120 people died. The team of interlocutors visited all 22 districts of the state and interacted with over 700 delegations in the past one year before coming out with its final document.


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