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Statement Adopted at the 3rd Round Table Conference on Jammu and Kashmir

On April 25, 2007, a statement was adopted on the first day of the Third Round Table Conference on Jammu and Kashmir convened by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in New Delhi. Presented below is the full text of the statement:

Statement Adopted at the 3rd Round Table Conference on Jammu and Kashmir

The participants at the Third Round Table Conference welcomed the continuation of the process of a wide ranging dialogue initiated by the Prime Minister in February, 2006, and carried forward in Srinagar in May 2006. It was acknowledged that this had helped evolve a better understanding of the issues and problems that affect the lives of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. It had produced an environment in which the citizens of all parts of the State could hope to lead a life of dignity, self-respect and fulfilment without fear of war, and want or exploitation and discrimination.

2. The members expressed their appreciation for the sincere efforts made by the Working Groups established at the end of the Second Round Table Conference and observed that the recommendations made by the first four Groups which had submitted their reports could very substantially contribute to the objectives of the dialogue process.

3. The Conference gave in principle endorsement to the approach suggested by the Working Group on Confidence Building Measures across Segments of Society in the State viz. strengthening human rights protection; improving relief and rehabilitation of widows, orphans and other victims of militancy and violence; and preserving the rich and diverse cultural landscape of the State. It appreciated the concerns expressed by the Working Group regarding the rights of all minorities in J&K, and the urgent need to facilitate the return of Kashmiri Pandits to their hearth and homes. It urged the State/Central Government to take all possible initiatives toward this end, and also to resolve, in a time bound manner, other long pending issues like rehabilitation of refugees from West Pakistan in 1947 and persons affected by the wars of 1965 and 1971.

4. The Conference applauded ongoing efforts to strengthen people to people contacts and promote trade and commerce across the LoC. It endorsed the recommendation of the II Group and need to further streamline these processes, and to expand and deepen such contacts and exchanges in the spheres of trade, tourism and various other walks of life.

5. The Conference endorsed the recommendations of Group III on Balanced Economic Development of Jammu & Kashmir and urged the Central and State Governments to take steps to carry them forward. To start with, these should be adequately integrated with the XI Plan. Issues requiring further consultations could be taken up in a time-bound manner through a suitable mechanism of the Central and the State Governments. It also takes note of the fact that the State Finance Commission and institutional structures have been set up to ensure balanced regional development.

6. The Round Table Conference fully endorsed the recommendations of Group IV on Good Governance and urged the State Government to operationalise them in right earnest in order to bring greater efficiency, transparency and accountability into the systems and processes of governance and to bring the Government closer to the people.

7. The Round Table Conference recognized that steps relating to a number of recommendations had already been taken but new initiatives still needed to be launched. It resolved that the recommendations would be further examined by the State and Central Governments in the light of the observations made during todays discussion to ensure that further initiatives and decisions could be taken in a time bound manner.

Source: Press Information Bureau, Government of India






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