NEW DELHI Former Union Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday said that he “regretted” not acting on the Jammu and Kashmir interlocutors report as the then Union Home Minister in 2011.
“I deeply regret the way interlocutors’ report was handled. We should have acted on the report,” Chidambaram said in response to a query by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah at an event here.
Following the massive unrest in the Valley in 2010, the Manmohan Singh government appointed a group of interlocutors comprising veteran journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, former Information Commissioner M.M. Ansari and social activist Radha Kumar.
After a year of deliberations and discussions with all stakeholders, the group submitted its report to then Home Minister Chidambaram in October 2011 and made several recommendations. None of these were eventually acted upon by the Central government.
Speaking at the event, Chidambaram said the “muscular, macho” approach adopted by the Narendra Modi government is bound to fail.
He advocated diluting the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), if not repealing it, in Jammu and Kashmir and said it would go a long way in bringing normalcy back to the Valley.
“Pakistan constantly keeps backing terrorists. What is under our control is to reach out to people and to stakeholders. And that is where this government has failed,” he said.
Speaking earlier, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that situation was getting better and perhaps conducive for the Kashmiri Pandits’ return to the Valley but after 2014 it has been “on a slide”.
“The Centre should hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir as soon as possible and whoever is elected, let that government work,” he said, speaking at the Lokmat Conclave.
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