Chandigarh — behind the scene efforts have started to pave the way for resumption of talks to settle the Punjab issue.
Contacts are believed to have been established with Akali circles. The outcome, however, is not yet known.
Observers do not expect any instant result from these efforts, particularly in view of the tough posture adopted by the Akali leadership. These, however, can help narrow down differences on the conditions that could be the basis for talks.
That the Akali leaders, after their release, will adopt a hard line for their political survival among the Sikhs was expected. Before ordering their release and starting efforts for normalizing the situation in Punjab, the Centre had taken this aspect into account. But the extent of intransigence displayed by Mr. Harchand Singh Longowal has surprised many.