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Involve militant leadership too in talks: Tarigami

Written by: Staff

Srinagar, Mar 21 (UNI) Advocating the involvement of ''militant leadership'' in the peace talks, the CPI(M) state secretary Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said more Kashmir-specific Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) were required to ease the situation and pave way for a lasting peace in the region.

Mr Tarigami said besides taking Kashmir-specific CBMs, all the political prisoners and other detenues, who were not involved in heinous crimes, should be released.

He said the 'militant leadership' should also be involved in the peace talks. ''The mood between India and Pakistan is reconciliatory owing to the support of the overwhelming majority of the peace-loving people of the sub-continent,'' he added.

Mr Tarigami proposed converting Jammu and Kashmir into a 'real federation' to empower the people with devolution of powers (both political and economic) at the regional, district, the block and the panchayat level, based on democratic representation at each tier.

''The idea is to allow the varied groups to live together, where each separate group enjoys the fullest opportunity to maintain its identity and prosper according to its specific aspirations,'' Mr Tarigami said.

Talking about the recent Pugwash conference on Kashmir in Islamabad, he said two rounds of talks with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf were ''very encouraging.'' ''There is a perceptible change in the mindset of the political leadership of both the countries and General Musharraf demonstrated flexibility during the interaction,'' he said.

Mr Tarigami said it seems that a consensus is emerging in the sub-continent for the resolution of all outstanding issues including Kashmir.

He said that the biggest achievement of the conference was that the Pakistani establishment realised the importance of the mainstream political leadership of the state in the resolution of the problem.

Mr Tarigami reiterated his party's stand of identifying peace zones within the state from where the security forces could be pulled back. ''This experience, if turns a success, could be extended to the whole of the state for gradual demilitarisation,'' he said.

He proposed demilitarisation of Srinagar city at the earliest to entrust the Jammu and Kashmir Police with maintenance of law and order in the city.

Talking further about his proposal of a ''Federal Jammu and Kashmir'', Mr Tarigami asserted this could be the most viable instrument of fighting the vested interests who are hell bent on dividing the state on religious lines.

Mr Tarigami also reiterated his stand of complete restoration of Article 370 of the Constitution in the state.


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