J&K Interlocutors Ready To Meet Separatists Anywhere19 January 2011
Jammu: Centre's interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir today said they are ready to meet Hurriyat and other separatist leaders anywhere for political resolution of the Kashmir problem. They said they had already written to the separatists to send them documents regarding their stand on the Kashmir issue. 'Tomorrow if the separatists want to talk to us, we have no hesitation in going to the place they wish us to go for a dialogue,' Dileep Padgaonkar, head of the 3-member team, told reporters here 'We do not stand on ego. We can go and meet people anywhere,' the veteran journalist said winding up the Jammu leg of the team's fourth visit to the state. 'We have met leaders of BJP and Panthers Party in their offices and discussed in detail the suggestions made by them,' Padgoankar said. 'We have formally written to the Hurriyat Conference and other separatists requesting them to send us the published documents on their declared stand on the issue,' he said. 'At the moment there are four documents - PDP's self-rule, NC's greater autonomy, Peoples Conference's nationhood and one more from the Awami National Conference - with us,' Padgaonkar said. 'We have been examining these documents. We are trying to find out areas of convergence and differences,' he said. 'Our aim is to narrow down the differences,' Padgaonkar said before the Central team left for the Valley. Yesterday the team, which includes academician Radha Kumar and former Information Commissioner M M Ansari, met political leaders, NGOs, academicians and intellectuals in Jammu region. The panel is expected to submit the final roadmap for resolution of the Kashmir problem to the Centre next month. It has already submitted a number of recommendations to the Union government including allowing peaceful protests and release of protesters against whom there are no serious charges. 'We will like to have inputs from separatist leaders also. We reiterate we will like to engage them in talks,' the chief interlocutor said. On silent dialogue with separatists by the Centre, he said 'any process facilitating emergence of a broad consensus for a political settlement is fine with us.' 'What is convenient to them (separatists) is fine with us if the main aim is to evolve a broad consensus towards a political settlement,' Padgaonkar said. On BJP's demand to scrap Article 370 giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir, he said people could give any suggestion. 'We were criticised by some sections for inviting a group of Kashmir University students to air their ideas on 'Azadi',' Padgaonkar said. 'I think we should draw a distinction between airing of ideas, suggestions and proposals and their endorsement by the group.' Padgoankar said certain common features emerged from team's discussions with a cross-section of the people in the state. These included treating Jammu and Kashmir as a single unit -no bifurcation or trifurcation of the state - in any settlement, he said. On this subject, different voices were heard in Leh, he said. Another common feature was that the special status of the state should not be disturbed, he said.