Centre For ‘informed Debate' On J&K Report

Centre For ‘informed Debate' On J&K Report

31 May 2012
The Hindu
Sandeep Joshi

New Delhi: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday said the Centre was keen on having an “informed debate” on the Jammu and Kashmir interlocutors' report, while an all-party meeting on the issue was likely to be called soon. “We are planning to hold workshops around the country in the next couple of months where the interlocutors will be available as resource persons…we want to have an informed debate that would help us in taking a decision on the report,” Mr. Chidambaram told journalists here. All political parties would have to discuss and debate the report and come out with their own views. “It is also my view that at some point of time we should call an all-party meeting which gave rise to the appointment of the interlocutors. Meanwhile, I think political parties will also discuss the report and come up with their views. This is an important matter and I think we should approach it with a great degree of seriousness so that there is a genuine and informed debate on the subject,” he said. Asked about the interlocutors' recommendations to form a constitutional committee to review all the Central Acts and Articles of the Constitution extended to Jammu and Kashmir, he said the government had not taken a view on it. “Each one of us is a prisoner of the past. We should release ourselves from the past and genuinely participate in the debate. When the debate takes place, I am sure, different views will be expressed on the proposal to constitute a constitutional committee and let us look at the pros and cons of the report,” Mr. Chidambaram added. The report - ‘A new compact with the people of Jammu and Kashmir' - prepared by the Centre-appointed interlocutors, Dileep Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and M.M. Ansari, was made public on May 24 and the government has asked all stakeholders to come out with their comments and suggestions on it. One of its major recommendations is the setting up of a “constitutional committee to review all Central Acts and Articles of the Constitution extended to the State after the signing of the 1952 Agreement” that should give its report within six months.