Omar submits report on Centre-J&K ties to PM

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 1 2010, 04:10am hrs
The report of the fifth working group set up for strengthening relations between the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir was on Wednesday submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by state chief minister Omar Abdullah.

In his 40-minute meeting with the PM, Omar discussed salient features of the report which was submitted to the chief minister by Justice S Sagir Ahmed last week.

During the meeting, various things including review of the relocation of security personnel from agricultural land, holding of talks with the separatist leaders and other developmental issues were discussed.

The majority of the discussion revolved around the report of the working group, constituted by the PM in 2006, which has recommended autonomy for the state and said the Centre could consider a proposal in this regard made by the ruling National Conference.

The report said a call needed to be taken on how long Article 370 in its present form, granting special status for J&K, should continue .

The working group deliberated on matters relating to the special status of the border state within the Indian Union, methods of strengthening democracy, secularism and the rule of law in the state. The question of autonomy and its demand can be examined in the light of the (1975) Kashmir Accord or in some other manner as the PM may deem fit.

The NC is demanding autonomy for the state, including more decentralisation of powers and more authority to the state government. Only three departmentsdefence, external affairs and currencyshould remain with India, the party says.

The party has said that the autonomy of the state, as it existed pre-1953, should be restored.