Concerned Citizens Group asks Centre to start Kashmir talks

Concerned Citizens Group asks Centre to start Kashmir talks
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New Delhi: Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha led Concerned Citizens Group (CCG) on Tuesday issued a statement, asking the central government to initiate a dialogue on Kashmir with the state’s stakeholders, and noted that the recent statements issued by government functionaries “hold promise for the Kashmiris”.

The CCG comprises of a number of eminent personalities from across the country, has been leading informal talks with a cross-section of the society in Jammu and Kashmir in a bid to restore normalcy in the state, reports The Wire.

The group’s statement said that it has hopes in Bharatiya Janata Party leadership, Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Home Minister, Rajnath Singh on a positive change in policy towards Kashmir’s citizens.

Stating that while it was “looking forward to a concrete follow-up,” the CCG said it would like to suggest that “in order to operationalise the well-intentioned statements that have so eloquently been made, it is now necessary for the government to clearly identify the stakeholders, announce the name of an authorised interlocutor, set a timeframe for the beginning and conduct of the dialogue process and start it as soon as possible.”

The CCG, in a report prepared on their interaction with Kashmiris, had earlier this month noted that there was a great deal of concern in the state over the attempts to deprive it of its special status due to Article 370 and 35A and that revoking of the latter could lead to an “uprising like no other”.

The signatories to the statement include air vice marshal (retd.) Kapil Kak, executive director of the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation Sushobha Barve, senior journalist Bharat Bhushan, former chairman of minorities commission Wajahat Habibullah, former Union minister Manish Tewari, former foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, former special secretary to the government V. Balachandran, writer and academic Badri Raina, historian and political commentator Ramchandra Guha, professor of political science Zoya Hasan and social activist John Dayal.

Source: The Wire