Amend constitution to make way for 'azaadi' debate: Panel

Interlocutors suggest release of political prisoners, stone-pelters and lifting of curfew to initiate dialogue process in J&K.

Latest News
Amend constitution to make way for 'azaadi' debate: Panel


The Centre’s interlocutors have suggested bringing amendments to the constitution to make way for discussions on azaadi for Kashmir.

They also suggested certain “baby steps” for nudging forward the dialogue process on Jammu and Kashmir. The dialogue process, they said, can be started by releasing political prisoners, stone-pelters and lifting curfew.

“Indian constitution is a beautiful document that I am very proud of. I believe it is flexible enough to accommodate all aspirations. And if there is any solution that all parties agree to, which is already not within our constitution, if the parliament desires so we can amend it,” Radha Kumar, one of the three interlocutors said before leaving for Jammu.

Kumar’s statement claimed its first casualty — the BJP as party members said they won’t meet the interlocutors. “We fail to understand what they are up to. Are they speaking for India or Pakistan? They are going to homes of separatists and terrorists and asking students to prepare a road map for azaadi. In such a situation, we can’t meet these people,” said Shamsher Singh Manhas, BJP’s state president.

Manhas reminded the interlocutors that parliament has passed a unanimous resolution saying Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. “The only outstanding issue is of reclaiming Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which is under the illegal occupation of Islamabad. But we are unable to understand the agenda of our interlocutors,” he said.

Before leaving for Jammu, the three-member team of Dileep Padgaonkar, MM Ansari and Radha Kumar met a cross-section of Kashmiris including students, stone-pelters, nomadic gujjars and bakerwals and family members of the Shopian rape and murder victims. They also met militants in central jail and asked them to persuade their leaders to agree to a dialogue. Even though the interlocutors showed a lot of “flexibility”, the separatists gave them the cold shoulder. Despite this, the trio drove to the resident of jailed Hurriyat leader Shabir Shah to visit his ailing mother.

“We listened to people talking about their day-to-day problems like not being able to move freely or getting milk for children. We have to take small steps for resuming the dialogue process,” Padgaonkar, who heads the three-member team, said.
Padgaonkar and Kumar flew to Jammu from Srinagar on Tuesday afternoon.

Find your daily dose of news & explainers in your WhatsApp. Stay updated, Stay informed-  Follow DNA on WhatsApp.

Live tv