“There is a political problem and we have to find a political solution”

The Jammu and Kashmir problem was a political one that needed a political solution and the recently appointed three interlocutors would hold widest consultations in the State and gather every shade of opinion aimed at finding a solution, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said here on Wednesday.

“There are no red lines. Their main brief is to chart a course towards a political solution. All the rest is in aid of such a solution,” he told journalists.

Eminent journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, noted academician Radha Kumar and Central Information Commissioner M.M. Ansari, who were appointed the interlocutors on October 13, held a meeting with Mr. Chidambaram on Tuesday.

“There is a political problem and we have to find a political solution,” the Home Minister said.

The brief of the interlocutors was to hold widest consultations, meet a very large number of people belonging to different sections of society, especially political parties, leaders and groups, university teachers, students and non-governmental organisations.

On the possibility of appointment of a fourth interlocutor, Mr. Chidambaram kept the option open. “We may, I stand by may,” he said.

After meeting the Home Minister on Tuesday, Mr. Padgaonkar, who has been asked to chair the meetings of the group, said the focus of their consultations would be to seek as large an area of agreement as one could get to arrive at a comprehensive, political settlement of the dispute. The interlocutors plan to be in the State for one week each month.

On Wednesday, the group was briefed by senior officials of the Kashmir Division of the Home Ministry. It may visit Srinagar over the next three to four days.

RELATED NEWS

Geelani calls for boycott of interlocutors October 21, 2010