Will appoint three interlocutors to facilitate talks on Kashmir: Congress in election manifesto
The Indian National Congress (INC) on Tuesday said that the party will appoint three new interlocutors if it was voted to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.
“Congress promises to find such a solution through patient dialogue and talks with all stakeholders in the State. Congress promises the people of J&K talks without pre-conditions. We will appoint three interlocutors drawn from civil society to facilitate such talks,” reads the party’s election manifesto.
The INC, which released its election manifesto at its New Delhi party headquarters, said that Jammu and Kashmir and its problems deserve a large-hearted approach that will eschew muscular militarism and legalistic formulations and look for an innovative federal solution.
“We also acknowledge the unique history of the State and the unique circumstances under which the State acceded to India that led to the inclusion of Article 370 in the Constitution of India. Nothing will be done or allowed to change the Constitutional position,” read the manifesto.
It said that the party will adopt a two-pronged approach: firstly, uncompromising firmness on the border and ending infiltration; and secondly, absolute fairness in dealing with the demands of the people and winning their hearts and minds.
The Congress has also promised to reduce the presence of the Army and CAPFs in the Kashmir Valley, and entrust more responsibility to the Jammu and Kashmir police for maintaining law and order.
It said that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and the Disturbed Areas Act in J&K will be reviewed and suitable changes will be made in the text of the laws to balance the requirements of security and the protection of human rights.
“We are deeply concerned about the cases of discrimination and harassment of students, traders and others belonging to Jammu & Kashmir in the rest of India and we will ensure their safety and their right to study or do business,” read the manifesto.