Congress leaders will be kept in loop on Kashmir roadmap, assures Chidambaram

Thursday, February 3, 2011

JAMMU - Home Minister P. Chidambaram Thursday assured Congress leaders in Jammu and Kashmir that they will kept on board on any roadmap for Jammu and Kashmir that may be worked out as per recommendations of the central government-appointed interlocutors.

This assurance, according to party sources, was made to them at a meeting with the visiting minister here. All issues, focusing on the situation in the state, the role of political groups and the future roadmap came up for discussion at the meeting which lasted over two hours, the sources said.

Chidambaram arrived here on a two-day visit Thursday evening and is scheduled to discuss the situation at the district level.

State Congress chief Saifuddin Soz, who had invited the home minister to visit Jammu and Kashmir, later told newsmen: “We discussed the report of the interlocutors and our party’s view point with the home minister.”

Soz did not, however, divulge the details about the report or the response of the party to those recommendations.

The central government had appointed three interlocutors - noted journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and economist M.M. Ansari - to talk to a cross-section of the people across Jammu and Kashmir and submit their recommendations.

Congress, which is a junior partner in the ruling coalition, opposes its ally, the National Conference’s demand for reversal of central laws and restoration of the pre-1953 status of Jammu and Kashmir when the state had full control over all matters excepting defence, communications and foreign affairs.

The state also had its own head of the state, known as Sadr-e-Riysat and the head of government was known as the prime minister.

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