The three interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir while reacting to HT report regarding their likely recommendation for the return to pre-1953 status of Jammu and Kashmir, admitted that they would be taking into account all the legal documents, including accession and the 1952 Delhi agreement in their final report that they would be submitting to the ministry of home affairs by this month-end.
Concerned that the revelations of the drafts of their reports for the final report in this newspaper would stir strong reaction from many quarters in the country, including Jammu and Kashmir, the interlocutors have come on defensive and said that they have yet to submit their final report and the recommendations are still in discussion stage.
Noted journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, who heads the three-member team of interlocutors appointed in October last year, told Hindustan Times that "they have discussed broad principles of the roadmap."
He admitted that the interlocutors were discussing their proposals by taking into account "Jammu and Kashmir's accession to India in 1947, 1952 Delhi Agreement, Sheikh-India accord of 1975 and Achievable Nationhood of Peoples Conference chairman, Sajjad Gani Lone.
All these documents talk of strengthening of the special position of Jammu and Kashmir in the Indian Union. "We are for strengthening of the special status of the state, but it's not pre-1953 position," Padgaonkar told HT on phone. But he did not clarify what amount of special powers or special status for the state he had in his mind.
His colleague Radha Kumar confirming this said that "Obviously all the legal documents defining the centre-state relations would be taken into account". The accession of Jammu and Kashmir and 1952 agreement are the two most crucial legal documents on the issue.
"We want to submit a report that would be acceptable to people of the country and Jammu and Kashmir, as we are not looking at through one region or one prism only," Padgaonkar said. Padgaonkar added that he would be issuing a statement in reaction to the HT report.
Meanwhile, chief minister Omar Abdullah, whose party refused to comment on the proposed recommendations of the interlocutors, saying that "had I been wearing two hats (president of National Conference and chief minister), I would have commented."
National Conference had passed a resolution in the state legislative assembly in July 2000, calling for restoration of greater autonomy- pre 1953 status - to Jammu and Kashmir. The centre had not accepted the road.