New Delhi: The Home ministry is considering
the terms of reference, perks and privileges of the
three-member group of interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir, set
up by the Centre in October to initiate sustained dialogue
with all shades of opinion in the state.
This was disclosed by the ministry in an RTI reply dated
The ministry referred to the Central Information
Commission the questions related to dual assignments accepted
by former Information Commissioner MM Ansari, who was taken
in the group of interlocutors despite holding his position at
the transparency panel.
Ansari continued to be the Central Information
Commissioner till his five-year tenure at the panel came to
an end on October 28.
"This concerns office of CIC (sic). A copy of
application is being forwarded to CPIO, CIC," the reply said.
The decision to appoint a set of interlocutors was taken
at the Cabinet Committee on Security meeting chaired by Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh on September 25.
The three-member group which was named on October 13
includes eminent journalist Dilip Padgaonkar, academician
Radha Kumar and the former Central Information Commissioner.
The group has been entrusted to talk to people from all
sections of all the three regions -- Jammu, Kashmir and
On the question of statements issued by the group that
comprehensive solution on Jammu and Kashmir could not come
without involving Pakistan, the ministry replied to activist
SC Agrawal, "In this regard the stated policy of the
government is that it is committed to discussing all
outstanding issues with Pakistan including the issue of Jammu
and Kashmir, through bilateral dialogue."
When asked about the brief given by the ministry to the
group, it said, "The interlocutors have been appointed to hold
a sustained dialogue with all sections of the people of Jammu