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Initiatives on Kashmir should be taken forward: Chidambaram

Initiatives on Kashmir should be taken forward: Chidambaram

Srinagar: Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said that initiatives taken by him on Kashmir when he was the home minister should be "carried forward".

"I wish the interlocutors' report and the initiative taken by the all-parties delegation should have been taken forward. I still hope these initiatives can be carried forward," Chidambaram said at the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank in Srinagar Tuesday evening.

Three interlocutors were appointed by the central government in 2010 to find a way forward in Kashmir, an initiative largely believed to owe itself to Chidambaram.

Dilip Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and M.M. Ansari were appointed as three interlocutors during the 2010 summer unrest in the Kashmir Valley in which 110 people were killed in bloody clashes between mobs and the security forces.

An all-parties delegation of parliament members also visited during 2010 to defuse the growing tensions.

Chidambaram said there is still scope for reducing the footprints of the security forces in Kashmir and the process of amending the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was still on.

"We don't claim that we resolved all issues. The work (about amending the AFSPA) is still in progress and I still believe that it can be done," he said.

Admitting that there are forces at work in Kashmir beyond the control and reach of the state, Chidambaram expressed optimism that the youth in Kashmir have realised the futility of following the path of violence.

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