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'Kashmir interlocutors wasted one year, achieved nothing'

Last updated on: October 12, 2011 22:19 IST

'Kashmir interlocutors wasted one year, achieved nothing'

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar

Separatists and mainstream Peoples Democratic Party have been dismissive of the report submitted by Kashmir interlocutors to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram Wednesday.

Chairman of the moderate All Parties Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq said that 'our decision to boycott the interlocutors proved right. Confidence building measures are no solution to Kashmir. They wasted one year without achieving anything."

The chief spokesman of the conglomerate, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat later explained the reason for the reaction of the group to the report.

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Image: Jammu and Kashmir interlocutors Dileep Padgaonkar and Radha Kumar

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'We want an end to the Kashmir dispute'

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"We know the interlocutors submitted their recommendations to the home minister. What needs to be understood is that we seek a permanent settlement of the dispute on Kashmir," Bhat said while talking to mediaprsons in Srinagar.

"Packages -- political, economic or even psychological -- will have to be linked to the permanent solution of the problem. We don't want to live with tension for all times to come. We want an end to the dispute," he added.

Shabir Shah, another senior separatist leader said, "We have already rejected the interlocutors. Kashmiris have not given sacrifices for confidence building measures."

The hard-line APHC group headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani who spearheaded the 2010 unrest which prompted the appointment of the interlocutors is, however, yet to react to the report.

"The recommendations are below the expectations and don't inspire confidence. There is nothing in these and if administrative matters like empowering panchayats and creation of regional councils could solve the problem then it could have been done long back. Infact, these are administrative matters of state jurisdiction and no interlocution is needed for this," PDP spkesperson Naeem Akhtar told rediff.com.


Image: Senior separatist leader Shabir Shah
Photographs: Reuters
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'Widest possible debate should be held'

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State Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary M Y Tarigami said, "The report should be shared with political parties at national and local level. Widest possible debate should be held to reach broader agreements."

The three member panel of interlocutors -- journalist Dileep Padgoankar, academic Radha Kumar and former civil servant M M Ansari was set up by the Centre at the height of the 2010 summer unrest in Kashmir.

The unrest claimed 112 lives and robbed the Valley of an entire tourist season, apart from leaving hundreds others wounded while thousands were detained.

The interlocutors boycotted by the separatist groups, however, travelled widely across the state meeting various political and social groups to have hands-on appraisal of the ground situation.

The interlocutors say they had met 700 delegations during the course of their year long assessment.


Image: A Kashmiri protester throws stones toward police in Srinagar
Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters
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