`Militants want to submit J&K peace plan`

Militants expressed the willingness during a meeting with Kashmir interlocutors.

Updated: Oct 31, 2010, 23:52 PM IST

New Delhi: Militants in Jammu and Kashmir have expressed their willingness to present a "peace plan"
during their meeting with the group of interlocutors appointed
by the Centre, a move seen as "something important" by Dilip
Padgaonkar, who led the three-member team.

Giving details about their meetings with those from
militant groups, Padgaonkar said, "The first time we met guys
from terrorist organisations. They said would you mind coming
again once. We need to talk to you. So we went a second time."

"And the second time, during an hour and a half,
something quite surprising took place which was one of those
guys who acted as spokesperson of one of these organisations
said to us that they would like to submit to us also a peace
plan," he said in an interview to a news channel.

The person asked the group whether they would be
prepared to wait for few days because they too wanted their
voice to be heard.

"They believed that they have a roadmap etc. So we said
we have come to listen to you. We are quite prepared. As and
when you prepare your point of view, let us know and we will
examine that as well. I see this as something important
because this is when the idea came that you need to talk also
to our people that was the message given to us," he said.

Replying to objections raised about the meeting of Radha
Kumar, one of the three interlocutors, with people accused of
terror, she said, "They do represent, unfortunately, a rather
ugly view point in Kashmir but that is important for us to
meet them."

She said the purpose of her visit to prison was to meet
young detainees "stone pelters" and political prisoners. It was
during one such visit that she met people charged with terror
which transpired into an "interesting meeting", she said.

She said the view of terrorists may be "unpalatable but
that we must listen to them."

Kumar said, "As far as the dissident groups are
concerned especially the Hurriyat groups we do understand
their compulsions and we will always be willing to listen to
them, their point of view. That is part of our mandate."

She said it was very rare to meet the Mirwaiz, Geelani
or leaders of that opinion on a first visit.

"It (peace process) needs to build up," she said adding
that there was not commitment for such meeting in next visit.

On BJP`s accusation against them of using the language
of separatists, Padgaonkar said if the group was speaking
their language, they would not have been boycotted.

When asked about his statement on factoring in of
Pakistan, Padgaonkar said the country has been involved in
Jammu and Kashmir since 1947-48 through overt means and covert
means of violence and diplomatic discussion.

PTI