Wednesday, Dec 04, 2002
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Jammu & Kashmir
By Our Special Correspondent
Mr. Sayeed was clearly keen to downplay the differences between his Government and the Centre. The release of militants, which had raised much heat in Parliament last week, was described by sources close to the Chief Minister as "no issue at all''.
They maintained that apart from the rhetoric, there was "complete understanding'' with the Centre on the matter. There was no question of setting up a "screening committee'' for the release of detenus in the future because all releases followed the required procedures which meant that they had been screened by all relevant authorities.
The issue of a Government negotiator on devolution and autonomy, after Mr Sayeed's rejection of the Centre's representative, Arun Jaitley, was not settled.
But the sources said that a dialogue with a pre-decided agenda of `autonomy' was unlikely to achieve much, given the disparate aspirations of the people of the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir. What was necessary was a wide-ranging dialogue, which would result in a solution acceptable to the Assembly and to all sections of the State.
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