Hold Dialogue With All Sections, Kashmir Governor Urges Chidambaram3 February 2011
Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra, a seasoned Kashmir hand, is Thursday said to have urged Home Minister P. Chidambaram of the necessity of dialogue with all sections, including separatists, to frame an acceptable solution. Chidambaram reached the Raj Bhavan late Thursday evening after meeting senior Congress leaders including state unit chief Saifuddin Soz, Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand and former deputy chief minister Mangat Ram Sharma. Vohra has been closely involved with the Kashmir situation since the 1990s when he was union home secretary and later met and interacted with all the key players in the state in his capacity as interlocutor on Kashmir from 2003 until he became governor in 2008. A strong advocate of dialogue with all sections in Kashmir, particularly separatists, Vohra reiterated the same position in his meeting with Chidambaram, informed sources told IANS. Earlier Chidambaram assured state Congress leaders that they will be kept on board on any roadmap for Jammu and Kashmir that may be worked out as per recommendations of the central government-appointed interlocutors. This assurance, according to party sources, was made to them at a meeting with the visiting minister here. All issues, focusing on the situation in the state, the role of political groups and the future roadmap came up for discussion at the meeting which lasted over two hours, the sources said. Chidambaram arrived here on a two-day visit Thursday evening and is scheduled to discuss the situation at the district level. Soz, who had invited the home minister to visit Jammu and Kashmir, later told newsmen: 'We discussed the report of the interlocutors and our party's view point with the home minister.' Soz did not, however, divulge the details about the report or the response of the party to those recommendations. The central government had appointed three interlocutors - noted journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and economist M.M. Ansari - to talk to a cross-section of the people across Jammu and Kashmir and submit their recommendations. Congress, which is a junior partner in the ruling coalition, opposes its ally, the National Conference's demand for reversal of central laws and restoration of the pre-1953 status of Jammu and Kashmir when the state had full control over all matters except defence, communications and foreign affairs. The state also had its own head of the state, known as Sadr-e-Riysat and the head of government was known as the prime minister.