We are to fulfil mandate, not to pass judgement: Interlocutors

Kashmir interlocutors rubbished a media report that they had criticised the Omar Abdullah government and self-rule.

Jammu: Kashmir interlocutors on Friday rubbished
a media report that they had criticised the Omar Abdullah
government and self-rule, saying they were here to fulfil
their mandate and not to pass judgements.

"We are here to fulfil our mandate and not to pass
judgements. No such words have been been said by me," Kashmir
interlocutor and eminent journalist Dileep Padgaonkar told
reporters as the team arrived here on their third visit to the
state.

Flanked by another interlocutor and former Central
Information Commissioner M M Ansari, he said, "I have not said
self-rule is better than autonomy. No judgement has been
passed on either of the two."

His remarks came against the backdrop of reports that he
had praised the contents of self-rule document.

Padgaonkar was quoted as having described the Omar
Abdullah government as inefficient and insensitive and also
saying that not even 30 per cent of Rs 6,000 crores plan
allocation to the state by the Centre was spent though the
current financial year was drawing to a close.

"Some quotes and sentences which have been attributed to
me in the interview taken by journalist Saeed Naqvi are not
true," he said, adding, "I have never said the word better."

There are two documents - one of autonomy of National
Conference and another of self-rule of Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP), he said.

"We are going to ask them and all the people to come up
with detailed suggestions on how we could go about and arrive
at a political settlement," he said.

"We are trying to evolve a broad based political
settlement in Jammu and Kashmir keeping in view aspirations of
the people of three regions as well as various communities,"
Padgaonkar said.

Referring to the setting up of "broad contours" for a
political settlement to the decades-old issue, he said, "We
will visit various areas of Jammu region. We will start with
Rajouri and Poonch border districts from tomorrow and hold
talks with various sections of the people."

The interlocutors would also meet the Chief Minister.
"As far as the previous two visits are concerned, we have
already submitted recommendations to the Government of India,"
he said.

He said to facilitate the dialogue process, there was need
to implement confidence building measures and both the Centre
and the state government were "sympathetically looking into
them."

After the visit, the interlocutors are likely to submit
the "broad contours" for a political settlement to the Kashmir
issue.

PTI

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