We Are To Fulfil Mandate, Not To Pass Judgment: Kashmir Interlocutors17 December 2010
Jammu: The Kashmir interlocutors today rubbished a media report that they had criticised the Omar Abdullah government and self-rule, saying they were here to fulfil their mandate and not to pass judgments. 'We are here to fulfil our mandate and not to pass judgments. No such words have been been said by me,' Kashmir interlocutor and eminent journalist Dileep Padgaonkar told reporters as the team arrived here on their third visit to the state. Flanked by another interlocutor and former central information commissioner MM Ansari, he said, 'I have not said self-rule is better than autonomy. No judgement has been passed on either of the two.' His remarks came against the backdrop of reports that he had praised the contents of self-rule document. Padgaonkar was quoted as having described the Omar Abdullah government as inefficient and insensitive and also saying that not even 30% of Rs6,000 crores plan allocation to the state by the Centre was spent though the current financial year was drawing to a close. 'Some quotes and sentences which have been attributed to me in the interview taken by journalist Saeed Naqvi are not true,' he said, adding, 'I have never said the word better.' There are two documents - one of autonomy of National Conference and another of self-rule of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he said. 'We are going to ask them and all the people to come up with detailed suggestions on how we could go about and arrive at a political settlement,' he said. 'We are trying to evolve a broad based political settlement in Jammu and Kashmir keeping in view aspirations of the people of three regions as well as various communities,' Padgaonkar said. Referring to the setting up of 'broad contours' for a political settlement to the decades-old issue, he said, 'We will visit various areas of Jammu region. We will start with Rajouri and Poonch border districts from tomorrow and hold talks with various sections of the people.' The interlocutors would also meet the chief minister. 'As far as the previous two visits are concerned, we have already submitted recommendations to the Government of India,' he said. He said to facilitate the dialogue process, there was need to implement confidence building measures and both the Centre and the state government were 'sympathetically looking into them.' After the visit, the interlocutors are likely to submit the 'broad contours' for a political settlement to the Kashmir issue.