M A I N   N E W S

Ahmadi, Rasgotra to head J&K working panels
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, July 2
Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has finalised the list of heads of the five working groups announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the end of the second round-table conference here on May 25 last.

Of these, four prominent persons have agreed to head each of the working groups being formulated to look into all issues affecting the state in all its aspects.

The announcement came after the Chief Minister carried forward the constitution of groups and held a series of discussions with leaders of various political parties and groups.

Those to head different working groups are: Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Indian Foreign Services; M.K. Rasgotra, Indian Foreign Services (retd); Dr C. Rangarajan, former Governor, Reserve Bank of India; and Justice A.M. Ahmadi, former Chief Justice of India. The four have conveyed their consent to the Chief Minister.

Another member, N.C. Saxena, a former Planning Commission Secretary, is being considered for the other working group, sources said.

Ansari presently chairs National Commission for Minorities and has accepted the chairmanship of working group to deliberate upon measures to improving the condition of people in the state affected by militancy and schemes to rehabilitating all orphans and widows affected by militancy.

M.K. Rasgotra has accepted the chairmanship of working group to recommend measures to simplify procedures to facilitate travel across the LoC, increase goods traffic and expand people-to-people contact, including promotion of pilgrimage and group tourism.

Dr C. Rangarajan has accepted the chairmanship of working group to deliberate on balanced economic development, employment generation and sub-regional development within the state.

Justice A.M. Ahmadi will chair working group to deliberate on matters relating to the special status to the state within the Indian union and methods of strengthening democracy, secularism and the rule of law.

The creation of five working groups was announced by the Prime Minister in his concluding remarks at the second round-table conference held here on May 25.

This, he said, would look more closely at the broad issues and problems and help move forward and ensure that views of all different segments were incorporated into the process.

Mr Azad, who had been entrusted with the task of finalising the choice of conveners of the working groups, held a meeting with a European delegation here yesterday.

The European Union delegation headed by Baroness Emma Nicholson concluded its visit to the state during which the members interacted with leaders of various political shades and NGOs.

Mr Azad told the delegation that the announcement of working groups by the Prime Minister had helped evolve credible mechanism to address different issues.

He said the groups would mainly deal with building confidence among people, particularly those who had suffered during the violence.





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