Negative response from Jammu and Kashmir separatists, says chief interlocutor

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Srinagar, Feb 26(ANI): Journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, who is heading the team of interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir appointed by the Central Government, on Saturday said that the response from the separatists was negative so far.

“We have spared absolutely no efforts to reach out to the separatists. We have stretched the limits of courtesy to invite them, to engage with us. Their response so far has been negative,” Padgaonkar told reporters in Srinagar.

However, he said that the team would strive to reach out to the separatists as the team finalized its report to be given to New Delhi.

“We will continue with our efforts because we believe that the inputs that we get from the separatists will be of importance to the document that we are now finalizing,” Padgaonkar said.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had appointed the team, also comprising academician Radha Kumar and economist M. M. Ansari, last year - after the unrest in the Kashmir Valley in which over 100 people were killed - to find ways to resolve the issue after consulting cross section of opinions.

The three interlocutors recently visited the migrant camps of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) to oversee governance.

Padgaonkar said that the team would submit an early report to the Central Government next month with suggestions for a permanent political settlement.

“I cannot spell out anything at all. This report will be sent to the Union Home Minister. It will then be vetted within the Home ministry and then sent up to the Prime Minister. I would request you to be patient until such time as the report has been finalized and I do very much hope that you will then get to know what the contours of a permanent political settlement in Jammu and Kashmir are,” Padgaonkar said. (ANI)

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