Jammu: Centre`s interlocutors on Kashmir
on Wednesday said they were ready to hold talks with separatists if
they were willing but could not force anyone for dialogue.
"If and when they (separatists) are ready for talks,
we will hold dialogue with them. We cannot force people for
talks," Dileep Padgaonkar, head of the three-member team, told
To a question on talks with the separatists, he said
"it is up to them to hold a dialogue or not."
"I do not know whether they want talks or not. But,
we cannot end up at doors of the separatists. I respect their
views," Padgaonkar said as the Centrally-appointed panel wound
up its four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
"We met almost everyone except the separatists," he
said adding they had the mandate to reach out to all shades of
opinion in the state.
On his "azadi" comment, he said "what we proposed in
the Valley may be good for Kashmir and not good for people of
Jammu or Leh."
"But, we want to take everyone along and keep in mind
the viewpoints of all the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir
and people of India," Padgaonkar said.
In Srinagar, the noted journalist had asked students
to prepare a roadmap for "azaadi" by the time they return for
a second visit to the Valley.
"Next time when we come (to Kashmir), let us discuss
azaadi and its economic and strategic implications. We have
to discuss it threadbare. If this is your wish, we can discuss
it," Padgaonkar had said.