Congress says premature to comment Padgaonkar’s remark

With BJP criticising an interlocutor on Jammu and Kashmir for his remarks on Pakistan, Congress today said no party should play politics in such a sensitive matter.

Last Updated: Oct 25, 2010, 21:20 PM IST

New Delhi: With BJP criticising an
interlocutor on Jammu and Kashmir for his remarks on
Pakistan, Congress today said no party should play politics in
such a sensitive matter.

The party at the same time steered clear of questions
on whether it supports the stand of Dileep Padgaonkar, head of
the three-member interlocutors panel for J and K, that
Pakistan has to be involved for a permanent solution of the
Kashmir issue.

"No individual, group political party or political
groups should play politics into it and ignore national
interests. Nobody should conduct (themselves) in a manner
which put obstructions in such sensitive works. Kashmir is a
sensitive issue and the job of the interlocutors is also very
sensitive," party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed told reporters
here.

His comments came in the backdrop of BJP slamming
Padgaonkar for his comment and demanding that the PMO explain
if this was part of the brief of the team.

The eminent journalist had also said that a dialogue
with Pakistan is as necessary as the dialogue with people of
Jammu and Kashmir to resolve the Kashmir issue which is a
"bilateral dispute going on since 1947-48."

The Congress spokesperson while praising the
Centre-appointed interlocutors as "very competent individuals
in their field, who have have acquired great respect", said it
would be premature to comment on Padgaonkar`s statement.
"We neither support nor oppose what they have
said.... This is very pre-mature. Interlocutors will will work
as per the mandate they have been given. They will talk to a
cross section of people, elicit their views and then submit
their report. Right now the thing has just begun and it is not
correct to find fault at this stage," Ahmed said.

He at the same maintained that it has been an old
stand of the Government of India that Kashmir was an integral
part of the country and no fact could be otherwise.

"Our concern is that obstructions should not be put in
interlocutors` job through unnecessary statements," Ahmed
added.

-PTI