Jammu/Srinagar: Centre`s interlocutors on
Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday said majority of the organisations and
groups they met during their visits to the state favoured
peaceful means for arriving at a political solution to the
These organisations were of the opinion that violence
should not be allowed to scuttle such an exercise, journalist
Dileep Padgaonkar, heading the team of interlocutors, told
reporters in Jammu.
Though various delegations gave diverse opinions, they
were broadly of the view that a solution to the Kashmir issue
should be found through peaceful means, he said.
"The groups are also of the view that the solution
should be acceptable to the people and all the three regions
of the state," Padgaonkar said.
Flanked by two other interlocutors -- academician
Radha Kumar and former Central Information Commissioner M M
Ansari, he said any settlement should rest on the pillars of
democracy and the rule of law.
Respect for different faiths and cultures in the
state should also be kept in mind before arriving at any
settlement, Padgaonkar said winding up the five-day visit of
the Central to the Jammu region.
"Political, economic and administrative powers must
be equally shared by the three regions and there should be an
effective devolution of such powers to district, block and
Panchayat levels," he said.
"We assured the delegations their views will be fully
reflected in the report that we will submit to the government
along with our recommendations," Padgaonkar said.
The three interlocutors, on their third visit to the
state, arrived in the Jammu region on December 17 and met a
cross-section of the people.
They interacted with over 100 social, political and
religious groups in Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts.
"The delegations represented political parties, ethnic
and religious communities, separatist groups, and legal,
business and educational interests," Pagaonakar said.
The Central team later arrived in Srinagar where it
met a delegation of youths as part of its efforts to find a
broad consensus on solving the Kashmir problem politically.
"This is part of the process that we have started in
October to meet all shades of opinion in Jammu and Kashmir,"
"There are lots of people who will meet the team
during its visit to the summer capital before we return to
New Delhi on December 23," he said.
The Centre appointed the interlocutors on October
13 after Kashmir valley witnessed a turbulent summer which
left over 100 civilains dead and thousands others, including
security force personnel, injured.