New Delhi, May 24 (IANS): A constitutional committee should review all central laws extended to Jammu and Kashmir and make permanent article 370 of the constitution that grants the state special status, a three-member team of interlocutors led by journalist Dileep Padgaonkar has recommended. The panel had been tasked with ascertaining the views of the people on resolving the Kashmir tangle.
In its report, submitted to Home Minister P. Chidambaram in October 2011 and made public Thursday, the interlocutors also noted that there was consensus in the border state that its distinctive status guaranteed by article 370 must be upheld. The report also said its erosion over the decades must be re-appraised to vest it with such powers as the state needs to promote the people's welfare on its own terms.
"To build on the consensus, we recommend that a constitutional committee be set up to review all central acts and articles of the constitution of India extended to the state after signing of the 1952 agreement," the interlocutors said in their 180-page report.
The 1952 agreement lays down the terms of engagement between the central government and the Kashmir government.
The other members of the interlocutors panel were academicians M.M. Ansari and Radha Kumar.
The panel wants the constitutional committee to be headed by an eminent personality who enjoys the esteem of the state's and the nation's people, and it should include constitutional experts as members . The committee should submit its report within six months and this will be binding on all stake-holders in Kashmir, the report said.