J&K interlocutors: Will shortly submit report to Chidambaram

Centre`s interlocutors on J&K on Friday said they would shortly submit a report on their eighth visit to the Kashmir Valley to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Srinagar: Centre`s interlocutors on J&K on Friday said they would shortly submit a report on their eighth
visit to the Kashmir Valley to Union Home Minister P

"We interacted with about 30 delegations representing
political parties, local government, RTI activists, civil
rights` groups, farmers, youth and women`s self-help groups
during our visit. The views will be reflected, along with our
analyses, in the report that we will submit shortly to Union
Home Minister," Chief Interlocutor Dileep Padgaonkar said to a news agency
before leaving for New Delhi.

The three-member team, comprising academician Radha
Kumar and M M Ansari, arrived in Srinagar on May 15 on their
eight visit to the Valley since their appointment in October
last year in the aftermath of the summer unrest.

"Our meetings in Pulwama and Charar-e-Sharief yielded
valuable insights into what the people of the state seek by
way of a political settlement in Jammu and Kashmir. As is only
to be expected, the views expressed in all the meetings were
diverse to the extreme," Padgaonkar said.

He said the team will visit the state again for
interacting with newly-elected panchs and sarpanchs.

"We hope to cover the remaining districts and areas
that we have not covered so far in our forthcoming visits to
continue, and conclude, extensive consultations among the
stake-holders, particularly the newly elected Sarpanchs and
members of Panchayats and other civil society functionaries,"
he said.

Giving details of their hectic tour, he said the team
attended the inaugural session of a conference organised by
Jammu and Kashmir peace foundation and also interacted with a
large gathering of youth in Srinagar and other parts.

In Charar-e-Sharief in Budgam district, Padgaonkar
said the team paid obeisance at the famous shrine of sufi
saint Sheikh Nooruddin Noorani and recalled his lasting
contribution to the pluralism and tolerance of Kashmiri
society, an essential element in the search of peace.

"We also offered prayers at the Siddhi Vinayak Temple
at Habbakadal in downtown Srinagar, where worship continues in
this ancient temple despite the mass exodus of the faithful -
the Kashmiri pandits - more than 20 years ago," he said.

The Chief Interlocutor said the team during their
visit to Shaikhupora in Budgam noted the enthusiasm with which
Kashmiri pandits are returning to the Valley, and the warm
reception they have been accorded by the people.

"We also heard about some of their problems, which we
have shared with the state government," he said, adding the
state government has assured them that the problems would be
addressed without delay.

The interlocutors called on state Governor NN Vohra
and had discussions with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah,
President of National Conference Farooq Abdullah and other
senior political leaders including State Secretary of CPI(M)
Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami and PDP Legislator Nizamuddin Bhat, he

Padgaonkar said the team also discussed various issues
relating to security with Director General of State Police
Kuldeep Khoda and had a session with Chief State Information
Commissioner Ghulam Rasool Sofi.

"The DGP informed us that police verification for
acquiring a passport has been simplified. Passports will be
delivered at a swift pace, especially for citizens wishing to
perform Haj, as per the directions issued by the Chief
Minister," he said.

Referring to a report in a national newspaper about
certain adverse remarks allegedly made by the team about the
manner in which the state government responded to the tragic
incidents of last summer, Padgaonkar said, "stories of this
nature are an insult to the memory of the scores of children
who died in those incidents."

"Exploiting the tragedy to settle personal goals or to
pursue petty political ambitions goes against the grain of all
civilised behaviour," he said.

"It only serves to frustrate efforts to evolve a broad
consensus on a political settlement that will be acceptable to
all the people in Jammu and Kashmir - to all its regions and
sub-regions - and to all its communities who contribute to the
rich pluralism of the state," he added.


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