No Peace In Kashmir Interlocutor Panel

No Peace In Kashmir Interlocutor Panel

23 December 2011
Deccan Chronicle
Namrata Biji Ahuja

New Delhi: In what may raise serious doubts about the efficacy of the report submitted by the Centre-appointed Jammu and Kashmir interlocutor panel, at least one interlocutor of the three member panel - M.M. Ansari - believes that their exercise was disbanded “midway’’ and could have delivered “better’’ results if given more time. In the middle of the row is interlocutor Dileep Padgaonkar who along with his colleagues submitted a report to Union home minister P. Chidambaram in October this year. Mr Ansari felt that “it was untimely for anyone to discontinue the interlocution process’’. When contacted Mr Ansari said: “Yes, the interlocution process ended midway. It was because Mr Padgaonkar said that he would not be available because he has taken up a paid assignment in Pune. We must remember this was a group appointment and if one person decides to discontinue then the group falls apart. The whole action is undemocratic.” He said “had the group been given more time, it could have yielded more results as peace had just started descending on the Valley after decades.” However, speaking to this newspaper, Mr Padgoankar said that ‘’all the three members of the group had desired to complete the report and submit it in a year. We were clear about it. “ He also claimed there was no need for an extension. Mr Ansari, meanwhile, said that the process was not over. “With more time, we could have got better results. We would have taken up further important issues. For the first time peace has been restored in the Valley. This was because so many steps were taken based on the recommendations of the group to address concerns of violation of human rights and establishment of governance institutions,” he said. The Cabinet Committee on Security is expected to meet in January next year to discuss the interlocutors report in detail and make it public. Months back, the interlocutors group was embroiled in a controversy over the participation of some members in ISI-sponsored events. Mr Padgoankar, who had participated in one such event, had said that it was a ‘’lesson learnt’’ for everyone.


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