The central government-appointed interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir confirmed Saturday that they would consider all the legal documents, including the 1952 Delhi agreement that provided a greater autonomy to the state within India.
On Saturday, HT reported that the three interlocutors were likely to recommend in their final report — to be submitted by the end of this month — that the pre-1953 special status be restored in the state.
But concerned that the revelation of the draft of their report might lead to strong reactions both from the state and outside, they said the final report was still in the discussion stage.
Journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, who heads the team appointed last October, told HT over phone that they'd only discussed the "broad principles of the roadmap".
He said, "We are for strengthening the special status of the state, but it's not the pre-1953 position." He, however, did not clarify what kind of a special status the team had in mind.
His colleague Radha Kumar confirmed the accession instrument and the 1952 Delhi agreement were the two most crucial legal documents on the issue.
It is only thorough a close look at the Delhi agreement — made on the basis of then Maharaja Hari Singh's instrument of accession to India in 1947 and the recommendations of the constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir — that the state's special status can be strengthened.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, whose National Conference (NC) champions a greater autonomy for the state, refused to comment, saying, "Had I been wearing two hats — of the party chief and the chief minister — I would have commented." The NC passed a resolution in the state Assembly in July 2000, calling for the restoration of the pre-1953 status. But the Centre did not accept the resolution.