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Chidambaram Calls For Acting On Past Pledges To Kashmiri People

Home Minister P Chidambaram, describing the situation in Kashmir valley as 'political', has called for acting on past pledges made to the Kashmiri people in  1952, 1975 and 1986, but added plebiscite was now 'history'. In
PTI September 19, 2010 10:15 IST
PTI
Home Minister P Chidambaram, describing the situation in Kashmir valley as 'political', has called for acting on past pledges made to the Kashmiri people in  1952, 1975 and 1986, but added plebiscite was now 'history'.
 
In an interview to Delhi newspaper Hindustan Times, the Home Minister said: "Over the years, several promises have been made to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and we should act on those promises".
 
"Based on the agreements and accords of 1952, 1975 and 1986, we must address these promises", he said.
 
Excerpts from the interview:
 
"The problem in Kashmir is essentially a political one. In the absence of a solution, it has given rise to serious security concerns."
 
"I would not agree that these young protesters are more radicalized or organized. Certainly today's protesters are a very different group of young men, women and, in some cases, children. It is clear that what we are seeing in Kashmir  is a qualitatively different kind of protest. We do need to recognize this. The protests are certainly more widespread and there is significant alienation. One would have to examine carefully what exactly triggered this sense of alienation."
 
"I have been in closed-door dialogue with separatist leaders too for a while. It wouldn't be much of a closed-door dialogue if I said what we talked about. But after the militants assaulted Fazal-ul Haq Qureshi, all such interactions stopped."
 
"There may be certainly some cases of excesses, but I don't think  this is so widespread.But this can only be fixed on the ground by trial and error. If there are fewer protests there will be fewer occasions to impose curfew, fewer occasions for citizens in Kawshmir to encounter security forces. People tend to forget that last year there has been substantial demilitarization, 1,000 paramilitary forces have already been removed from Kashmir and 30,000 (army) troops have been moved out."
 
"Autonomy is a demand made by many sections of the people of J&K and many political groups. They refer to accords and agreements reached in the past. The content of the demand for autonomy is a matter for dialogue and discussion."
 
"Over the years, several promises have been made to the people of J&K and we should act on those promises. Based on the agreements and accords of 1952 (Delhi  Agreement), 1975 (Sheikh-Indira accord), 1986 (Rajiv-Farooq accord) we must address these promises."
 
"No, I am not (referring to Plebiscite). As I said, any promises made based on 1952, 1975 and 1986 agreements can be considered. The plebiscite is history. Much has changed since.  We have to look at things as they are now, not rake up the past, if we are to move ahead. All things must be based on the talks between  the parties; the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the Government of India."
 
"There are many other issues that need to be examined and addresseed. I have not heard any demand for plebiscite from any quarter."
 
"My message is: Be part of the India story. Your future is secure with India. You can build a vibrant and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir, as part of India."