Interlocutors send invites to Kashmir separatists

February 11th, 2011 - 12:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, Feb 11 (IANS) The three interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir have for the first time sent formal invitation letters to four separatist leaders, urging them to sit across the table for talks.Dileep Padgaonkar, one of the three interlocutors, was quoted as saying in newspaper Greater Kashmir that invites had been dispatched to the separatists to include their views in the report they will submit to the central government.

“So far we have been taken up the issue (of talks with separatists) in public interactions, now we have dispatched invitation letters to Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah,” Padgaonkar was quoted as saying in Greater Kashmir, a newspaper published simultaneously from Jammu and Srinagar.

The chief interlocutor said that they would wait for a response from the separatist leaders over the next 10 days.

The moderate wing of the Hurriyat Conference led by the Mirwaiz had Wednesday said the time had come for a meaningful dialogue to resolve the Kashmir problem.

“We have reached a stage where we need to rise above political affiliations and show statesmanship in starting a political process,” it said in a statement.

“After all, it is Kashmiris who are getting killed and therefore, Kashmiris, through mutual consultation, will have to come forward to find a solution to the vexed problem,” the group added.

It seems to be a last-ditch effort by the interlocutors to reach out to the separatists before filing and submitting their final report to the union home ministry, according to government sources.

“The interlocutors have been able to meet all nay-sayers but the separatists and their inputs are very, very important,” a government source told IANS.

The interlocutors — Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and economist M.M. Ansari — were appointed in October last year after the summer unrest in the Kashmir Valley in which over 100 people were killed.

So far, the separatists have refused to talk to the interlocutors.

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