Centre’s chief interlocutor on Jammu and Kashmir Dileep Padgaonkar said there is a deep yearning for peace and justice among the people of the state and dialogue alone can lead to a political settlement of Kashmir problem.
The three—member team of interlocutors has reached some broad conclusions, and one of them is that there is a deep yearning for peace and justice among people of the state, he said.
The other is that “dialogue alone conducted on a sustained basis and with sincerity can lead to a political settlement (of the Kashmir problem),” the eminent journalist told a “Peace Conference” here.
Mr. Padgaonkar said the Central team has met more than 500 delegations during their eight visits to Jammu and Kashmir.
“Since our appointment in October last year, we have met more than 500 delegations during our eight visits to the state so far.
“We have met all kinds of people including those who have been displaced, so—called stone—pelters and the young,” he said.
There is a view that pluralism should be upheld in the state as an example for rest of the country, Mr. Padgaonkar said.
“There is a belief the state should not be divided, trifurcated or bifurcated because it is one unit where all religions and all languages can blossom,” he said.
There is also a need to take urgent measures to address issues agitating minds of the people, Mr. Padgaonkar said.
“Some issues are related to governance and some to confidence—building, but none of these can take attention away from the main point which is political,” he said.
No settlement can be arrived without the consensus of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Padgaonkar said.
The conference, organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Peace Foundation, was attended by Governor N.N. Vohra, Arab League Ambassador to India Ahmed Salem al Wahishi and representatives of mainstream political parties.
Radha Kumar and M.M. Ansari, two other interlocutors, also attended the conference.
Keywords: Jammu and Kashmir interlocutor