The government may agree to a decades-old demand and grant more autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, an audacious move seen as possibly the only realistic meeting ground between New Delhi and the region’s separatist aspirations.
After a long policy lull in Kashmir, top government officials are considering an amendment in the Constitution to give Kashmir more powers, going beyond the special status it enjoys under Article 370 of the Constitution, sources told HT.
They cannot be named due to the sensitivity of the talks.
It mirrors former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s four-point formula on Kashmir — at the heart of which was the devolution of powers.
Even now, the state has a separate constitution and flag, and all Indian laws have to be ratified by the state legislature before being enforced there.
Highlights of the new plan:
The CM may get more powers than other counterparts.
Taking the state out of the purview of Article 356, which gives New Delhi the power to dismiss a state administration.
The state would have full control over its natural resources.
Smaller regional legislative bodies would be created.
More powers for bureaucrats.
The plan will be part of the dialogue with separatists, expected in October-end.