Holding that a majority of people in J&K are against any division of the state and favour a political settlement, central interlocutors on Wednesday said they will submit their final report to Government without including the separatists’ views if they fail to come forward for talks.
Wrapping up their tenth visit to Jammu and Kashmir, head of the panel of interlocutors Dileep Padgaonkar said four “common” views have emerged from the team’s interactions with the people with the other two being -- power sharing among the state’s regions and restoring the pluralistic and tolerant culture.
Referring to separatists’ position so far, he said, “We have repeatedly said we are ready for talks, either open or closed door, whenever and wherever they want. The decision has to be taken by them.
“However, if they don’t come forward we will still submit our report on the basis of interactions we have had with people from various walks of life,” Mr. Padgaonkar told reporters here.
He said the panel has laid down a “roadmap” for the Centre to carry forward the suggestions that have been made by it.
To a question about demands for trifurcation of state, Mr. Padgaonkar said that people are against the division of the state and want it to remain united.
He said the last meeting between foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan “gives us hope that there will be movement forward in weeks to come towards a peaceful resolution of the situation”.
Ms. Radha Kumar, a member of the interlocutors’ panel, said that “everybody in the state is looking for solution that will accommodate each aspiration to largest possible extent”.
“They are looking for a practical, feasible, workable solution. That is something very unusual. They (people) have such practical, feasible, imaginary and visionary approaches,” Ms. Kumar said.
Asked about the outcome of the various interactions and round table conferences, Mr. Padgaonkar said, “As far as commonalities are concerned, first and foremost, everyone is convinced that only way to achieve a political settlement is through a process of dialogue.”
He said that there is a clear understanding that militancy and violence have not served any purpose and have worsened the situation.
“Second view is that there is need to maintain the integrity of state. The third commonality is the need for power sharing between regions and sub-region and within region to communities,” he said.
Interlocutors have undertaken 10 visits to Jammu and Kashmir covering 18 districts, met 550 delegations of political parties, academicians, NGOs, social, religious organisations and civil society, besides newly elected panchayat members.
“The fourth and most important is what has happened in past 20 years, everybody agrees to the need to restore the tolerant and pluralistic culture of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
On whether they “felt embarrassed” after the separatists declined to meet them, he said, “We are not embarrassed. They (separatists) too have constraints and compulsions. But they alone can decide what and where to talk to us. As I said if they come forward (for dialogue) it will enrich our report.”