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Kashmir interlocutors to submit report in 2 weeks

Source: PTI
February 23, 2011 16:03 IST

The Centre's interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir will submit a document containing the contours of a political settlement of Kashmir issue to the Centre within two weeks.

"We are going to present the initial document on contours of a political settlement in the next two weeks," head of the three-member panel of interlocutors and journalist Dileep Padganokar told mediapersons in Jammu on Wednesday.

The panel, which was appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to evolve a broad consensus on a permanent political settlement in the state, is on its fifth visit to the state.

Maintaining that they would go without incorporating the stand of the Kashmiri separatists on the issue, Padganokar said, "Obviously, we will not be able to factor in what the separatists want because they have decided not to talk to us."

Flanked by two other members academician Prof Radha Kumar and former Information Commissioner M M Ansari, he said, "So what do you expect us to do? If they (separatists) at least send us their published documents on their stand, we will certainly factor in those as well."

"But in the meantime, we simply want to go ahead and reach out to all other stake holders in Jammu and Kashmir," he said, adding that "we believe that no one group of stake holders can hold the entire dialogue process to ransom".

Answering a volley of questions, Padgaonkar said the group has studied the autonomy demand of National Conference, self rule demand of Peoples Democratic Party and the documents of Awami National Conference, Sajad Lone and the document of the Working Group, headed by Justice Sageer Ahmad, set up by the prime minister.

"We have taken all these into account. We have also been given documents by certain political parties in Delhi stating their stand on the issue," Padgankokar said, adding "We will take all these into account. To say one or the other is good, better, pivotal, central and main is incorrect".

"We welcome suggestions, ideas from as many quarters as we get and we hope that by and by those suggestions that will come forth from the ranks of separatist as well," he said.

However, Radha Kumar clarified that the interlocutors have taken into account four points of separatist leaders -- Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and five points of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, which were essentially confidence building measures.

"In order to create a conducive atmosphere certainly we have incorporated them. However, on the acceptability of the word dispute by Geelani is concerned, it is a legalistic matter and a separate issue. We have taken only CBMs," he said.

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