Government awaiting Kashmir’s response on autonomy report

New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) The central government is awaiting a response from Jammu and Kashmir government on the issue of autonomy for the state as suggested by the Justice Saghir Ahmed Committee, a working group set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, parliament was told Wednesday.

‘The state government has been requested to give its recommendations on the committee’s report,’ Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken told the Lok Sabha.

Maken gave a written reply to a question about the fifth Kashmir working group constituted by the prime minister in 2006. The working groups were tasked to suggest measures on how to solve the internal problems in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been battling a 20-year-old bloody separatist campaign.

The Saghir Ahmed Committee, which was tasked to recommend steps to improve centre-state relations, had suggested that the question of autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir could be examined as may be deemed fit by the prime minister.

It also suggested that it should be left to the people to decide whether Article 370, which gives special status to the state, should be made permanent or abrogated.

The committee’s recommendations submitted in December last year had invited sharp criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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