Kashmir interlocutors have a busy day (Lead)October 24th, 2010 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS
Srinagar, Oct 24 (IANS) The central govenment interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir Sunday had a busy day, interacting with some newspaper editors, delegations of local Gujjars and visiting the central jail in Srinagar to meet the political detainees.
The interlocutors - Dilip Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and M.M. Ansari - met the delegations of residents at the state guest house in Srinagar.
Sources said a meeting of the interlocutors with Governor N.N. Vohra also was lined up.
Editors of two prominent local English dailies met the interlocutors and discussed the situation and the possible ways and means to break the 63-year-old gridlock over the Kashmir dispute.
“We are here to listen and listen very carefully to everyone we meet,” Padgaonkar told reporters here Sunday.
The team of interlocutors also visited the central jail in Srinagar city and met some detainees to know their views.
They paid obeisance at the Sharika Devi temple in the old city area of Srinagar and prayed for the success of their mission.
The team Saturday visited the Hazratbal shrine and offered prayers. The trio also met state Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda.
Padgaonkar, who has been doing most of the talking for the trio, has already raised the pitch for a political discourse by referring to Kashmir as “a dispute”.
“This is not only a departure from the usual references made by the central government and national level politicians but also marks a step forward to somewhere meet the hardline separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, midway,” Riyaz Masroor, a senior journalist, told IANS.
Masroor said Padgaonkar’s assertion that Pakistan had to be on board for a permanent solution indicated that the interlocutors had accepted the “international dimension” of the problem.
Geelani has put forth five points for a dialogue process in Jammu and Kashmir to begin, and his first and foremost assertion has been that India should accept Kashmir as an international dispute.
“It is time to finally accept the fact that Kashmir is a dispute that must be resolved without losing further time,” said Muzaffar Ahmad, a college teacher.
“If this mission of interlocutors fails, then the hope of peace in Kashmir could be lost forever,” he said.
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Tags: ali shah, central jail, english dailies, geelani, gujjars, international dimension, jammu and kashmir, kashmir dispute, khoda, kuldeep, newspaper editors, obeisance, permanent solution, political detainees, political discourse, radha kumar, riyaz, separatist leader, state director, vohra