Keen to hold on to the brief spell of peace in the Kashmir Valley after the visit of the all-party delegation to Srinagar and Jammu, the government is likely to announce some confidence building measures (CBMs) for the people in Jammu and Kashmir, who have witnessed incidents of police firing, stone throwing, protests and strikes since June.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is likely to meet here next week under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the report of the all-party delegation. It is being finalised by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who had led the 39-member delegation. The CCS met on Friday, but it only discussed and approved the second phase of the Coastal security scheme, which would cost Rs. 1,100 crore and begin next April, sources said.
Four delegation members, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury, already met Mr. Chidambaram and held broad discussions on various points of the report. The delegation also saw differences among its members on meeting separatist leaders and withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
Though the views of the BJP and the Left parties on AFSPA withdrawal are known to clash with each other, the government, the sources said, was likely to find release of political detenus and young boys in the Valley as an immediate measure. The Home Minister has favoured revisiting some of the provisions of the AFSPA but the Armed forces have demanded its retention so they may have legal protection for their actions during operations.
Consolidation of goodwill
The sources indicated that the government would like to consolidate the goodwill generated during the visit of the delegation and the atmosphere built. The CCS is expected to assess the report of the Home Minister as well as the views given by the members of the delegation and see how best normality and peace can be restored in the Valley.
The Left parties have already stated that the Centre should talk to all sections of the people in the State and take calculated risks in restoring normality, peace, order and harmony in Jammu and Kashmir. “We are prepared to reach out to every section to work out a solution within the Constitution. All matters can be resolved through dialogue,” said Mr. Yechury.