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Kashmiris should decide on state`s special status: Panel

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - 23:02

Jammu: The fifth working group on Jammu and Kashmir set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh submitted its report on Wednesday and recommended that the people of the state decide whether it should retain the special status under Article 370 of the Constitution or not.

"It is for the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to decide how long to continue Article 370 in its present form and when to make it permanent or abrogate (it)," the first recommendation of the group said.

"The matter being 60 years old should be settled once and for all," it added.

The report was submitted by Justice (retd) Sageer Ahmad, heading the working group, to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Wednesday evening.

The group recommended that the "the question of autonomy and its demand can be examined in the light of the Kashmir Accord or in some other manner or on the basis of some other formula as the present Prime Minister may deem fit and appropriate so as to restore the autonomy to the extent possible".

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had in 2006 set up five working groups on confidence building in Jammu and Kashmir and to improve relations between the state and the Central government.

The group also called for a "consensus" on the term of the state Legislative Assembly.


First Published: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - 23:02
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