Rift among J&K interlocutors; Radha Kumar upset

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 18:50

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: In a jolt to the Kashmir peace process initiated by the government, the panel of three interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir is on the brink of breaking up.

According to reports, one of the members, Radha Kumar has written a letter to the Union Home Minister, saying that she doesn’t want to be associated with her colleague MM Ansari.
Ansari, who is a former information commissioner, had criticised Kumar for attending a Kashmir seminar in Europe organised by the Tramboo Centre. The organiser, Abdul Majeed Tramboo is under the scanner for his association with the Pakistani establishment and Fai.

Sources revealed that Radha Kumar wrote to the Home Minister that she would continue to work on her part of the interlocutors’ report due end-September, but would not attend any meetings with Ansari.

She has also refused to accept any payments made customarily to all interlocutors.

In her letter to the Home Minister, Radha Kumar said that she attended the conference in 2006 at the behest of the Centre and was accompanied by G Parthasarathy.

Meanwhile, the government dismissed reports that academician Radha Kumar has offered to quit from the three-member panel of interlocutors.

Further, reacting to this development, Ansari told a newspaper, “My working relationship with my colleagues is excellent. And our team work is unaffected and is progressing well. But I must confess that both of my colleagues are unhappy with my remarks on their availing of hospitality offered by foreign agencies, before and after their appointment as interlocutors. I have requested them personally to put in the public domain details of their recent foreign visits so as to avoid any media speculation, but to no avail. The people of J&K who have lived in violence due to militancy and are suspicious of our intentions due to broken promises, expect us to be truthful in anything we do. This is what bothers me and makes me spend sleepless nights.”
Sources said the interlocutors will meet Home Minister P Chidambaram later this week. Their term expires on October 12.

It should be noted that Ansari had slammed his other colleague and chief interlocutor, journalist Dileep Padgaonkar three weeks ago, for attending a seminar organised by US-based Kashmiri separatist Ghulam Nabi Fai who was arrested by the FBI for illegally lobbying for Pakistan and ISI.

First Published: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 10:18

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