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CM wants one more interlocutor

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is contemplating to ask the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to appoint one more interlocutor, preferably a politician, for Kashmir talks sources told Greater Kashmir on Friday.

They said the Chief Minister is keen on an early start of a dialogue between the interlocutors and representatives of various shades of opinion in the state. Omar, according to the sources, wants a fourth person to join the team, one who carries weight politically, to make “a fruitful beginning in the dialogue process” in the present troubled times.

Pertinently, the Union Home Minister, had on Wednesday announced three interlocutors: journalist Dilip Padgaonkar, academic Radha Kumar and economist MM Ansari. The minister had declared that the three were well-known and “credible people” having a political persona.

But the reaction from mainstream and separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir has been one of dismay.

According to the sources, the Chief Minister after studying all the reactions is planning to ask the central government to include someone whose appeal would stretch to the alienated sections.

Chidambaram’s announcement followed weeks of unrest and street protests in the Kashmir Valley in which more than 100 civilians were killed, mostly in firing by forces.

Faced with frequent paralyzing shutdowns in the Kashmir Valley, the central government said it was ready to talk to everyone in the state in a bid to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.


PTI ADDS FROM NEW DELHI: The three-member interlocutor panel formed by the government of India to hold “sustained dialogue” with the people of Jammu and Kashmir including separatists is expected to submit its report within a year.

While the terms and references were being framed for the three-member panel, sources in the Union Home Ministry said the group was expected to submit its report within a year.

The Ministry has prepared a set of all agreements and Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and will hand over it to the three members soon, the sources said.

The agreements include the Instrument of Accession, 1952 Delhi Agreement, 1975-accord and other relevant documents pertaining to the state.

The sources said the terms and references will be framed in consultation with the members of the panel.

No political personality figures in the group, contrary to widespread speculation that a politician with the status of a Union Cabinet Minister would head it.

Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh and two Union Ministers of state Prithviraj Chavan and Salman Khursheed are believed to have been sounded but they appeared to be disinterested, highly-placed sources said.

The interlocutors will be in Jammu and Kashmir for one week each month, the sources said.


GK NEWS NETWORK Srinagar, Oct 15