It’s time for NDA-II to dispose-off reports of PM's 5th WG & Group of Interlocutors -
It’s time for NDA-II to dispose-off reports of PM's 5th WG & Group of Interlocutors
Posted 26 Aug 2017 12:41 PM

Arun Jaitley who was also a member of the Prime Minister's 5th Working Group had in 2010 questioned the Justice Saghir Ahmed for preparing the report without the needed participation of the members. He even went to the extent of opening that he wondered how the report had been arrived at without any active participation of the members of the group and study of the references to terms of reference. The way such reports have been prepared that have helped to push J&K into more and more turmoil need to be investigated by some agency so that in future proper care is taken. Prime Minister's 5th Group was chaired by a retired judge of Supreme Court but even the proposals that referred Pakistan Occupied Areas of Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir (POK) as Pakistan Administered Jammu & Kashmir (Kashmir) (PaK) were not at all taken seriously even when parliament has passed a resolution on 22 February 1994 demanding that Pakistan must vacate the occupied areas. Where were then the leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Chidambaram who were also part of the then UPA-II Congress lead Government at Center when Pakistan occupied areas of J&K were being addressed as Pakistan Administered Areas of Kashmir? By asking this I am not supporting the silence of BJP on the term used by US State department for the Indian state of J&K. Since even by 2017 the 5th WG report has not been disposed of by Centre, National Conference and PDP could use some passing references made in the report to keep the people of Kashmir region under illusions as regards future of center-state relations. Already in view of the known- serious approach of the Centre regarding the questions raised on the accession of J&K to India or the talks of some conditional accession, for a common man of J&K (particularly Kashmir Valley) there is something still pending as regards deciding the relations between India and 'Kashmir' (J&K State of Hari Singh) and 5th WG report only added some more. It was only a direct or indirect reference to Autonomy / Self Rule / Article 370 that politically mattered to those in power seat in J&K. No objections have been made from the leaders from Kashmir Valley to the text of the report concerning subjects like Autonomy / Self Rule / Article 370. Similarly it was on 13th Oct 2010 that Ministry of Home Affairs appointed a group of three Interlocutors (DileepPadgaonkar - Chairman ; Radha Kumar and M. M. Ansari as members) on J&K following the visit of the all party delegation to Jammu and Kashmir from September 20 to 22 and as was announced by Home Minister on 25th September. The terms of reference of the interlocutors were not made that explicitly / clearly public. The only thing the people could understand was that the Group of Three had to feel the pulse of the people of J&K and communicate the same to Government of India. How would Government of India proceed on their report too was left undisclosed? After the report was submitted by Dileep Padgaonkar to Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on 12th Oct 2011 people were anxiously waiting to know about the contents of the report and the plans of the government as regards the contents of the report. After seven months it was on 24th May that Home Minister got the report uploaded on the MHA website. This report too had mentioned the Pakistan Occupied areas of J&K ( Kashmir ) as Pakistan Administered part / Areas of Kashmir (J&K ). How could Centre accept the report with such a reference was a question and it was more surprising from Indian point of view that it was uploaded on the MHA website without any comments from Home Minister? It will not be an over statement to make that the then Home Minister P. Chidambaram might not have even read the report with seriousness since had he done so he would not have got the report uploaded on the website without any comments/ observations since there were some more statements in the report that raised questions on the settled accession of J&K to India like under chapter on Political Component: Centre-State Relations: the report recommends on page (6) that: Parliament will make no laws applicable to the State unless it relates to the country's internal and external security and its vital economic interest, especially in the areas of energy and access to water resources… These changes should be harmonized in all parts of the former princely State. All opportunities for cross-LoC cooperation should be promoted. This will require substantial constitutional changes in Pakistan-administered Jammu and take all appropriate measures to regard Jammu and Kashmir as a bridge between South and Central Asia. : The report had even removed Foreign Affairs and communication from the list of recommended subjects. Surely had Chidambaram read the report he would not allow uploading this report on the site. One would expect what message it would have sent to the outside world as well as the local population of J&K. So, Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir has been the victim of nepotism and unfair electoral practices. Had BJP not been in power no opposition leader would have questioned US using the term Indian Administered J&K. So, it is time for NDA Government to attend to references like "Pakistan Administered Kashmir (Jammu& Kashmir)" that are made by leaders and experts even from within India and the references in reports like that of PM's 5th WG headed by Justice Saghir Ahmed and that of Group of Interlocutors for immediate disposal so as to save the political and social environment in J&K from any more ideological pollution.

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