Kashmir interlocutors meet PM, to submit interim reports

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NEW DELHI - The three new interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday, said they will visit the state once a month and will especially seek the opinion of “youths and women”.

“We are hugely impressed with the depth and sincerity of the prime minister to ensure that a solution is found. We are planning to visit Jammu and Kashmir once every month. We will be submitting interim reports after every visit with suggestions and recommendations,” Dileep Padgaonkar, one of the interlocutors, told reporters.

Although the team has a one-year mandate, it will submit periodical reports after monthly visits to the state, said journalist Padgaonkar. Academician Radha Kumar and former information commissioner M.M. Ansari are the other interlocutors.

“The prime minister reiterated support at the highest level. He said talk particularly with youth and women,” Padgaonkar said.

Padgaonkar said talks to resolve the Kashmir crisis “may be difficult”. “But we will approach the talks with an open mind and a big heart.”

He said the team will go on its first visit to Kashmir soon. “We will talk to people from all shades of opinion,”

Underlining that the “talks would be comprehensive”, he said the interlocutors will be sensitive to the divergent views of representatives of the different regions of the state - Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh.

Radha Kumar said that Manmohan Singh told them to focus on a political solution which is comprehensive.

“It must take into account the aspirations of people. Dialogue should take into account previous dialogues as well those involving dissident groups, including Pakistan-related processes that were part of it,” Radha Kumar said quoting the prime minister’s instructions.

The three interlocutors were appointed Oct 13 to speak to various political groups and individuals in all the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir to find a solution to the crisis. The team had met Home Minister P. Chidambaram Tuesday.

At least 110 people have been killed in the ongoing unrest in Kashmir that has seen protestors clashing with the security forces.

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