The three interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday wrapped up their interaction with the people and said they would submit their final report to the Centre by October 12.
Winding up their last visit to the State, noted journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and Information Commissioner M.M. Ansari said the report would address the diverse aspirations of the people of J&K but it would be within the framework of the Indian Constitution. .
“Future should not to be burdened with the contentious baggage of history, the baggage of rival ideologies, political ambitions and narrowly defined interests,” Mr. Padgaonkar said. “Our final road map would comprise the recommendations within the ambit of the Indian Constitution. No outside solution would be acceptable to the people of various regions and sub-regions, let alone parties in Delhi. We have to address the diverse aspirations of people of J&K.”
There would not be any majority or minority views, he said. “There is an essence of victimhood within the regions and sub-regions. People of Ladakh feel dominated by the Valley people. At the same time, Kargil people feel dominated by Leh. Similar feelings are in the Jammu region. Our report will definitely reflect this all.”
The interlocutors, since their appointment in October last, had met over 700 delegations including individuals from all the three regions and districts.
Replying to a question, Mr. Padgaonkar said, “we will go ahead without meeting separatists. Their stand is very much known in the form of documents.”
Mr. Padgaonkar said their report “will address the diverse political, social, economic and cultural aspirations without disrupting the unity of J&K. We won't disrupt the special constitutional status of J&K with India. I want to make it clear that the diversity is not on religious or communal lines.”
He said that despite a large participation in the panchayat polls, decline in militancy, and the huge rush of tourists to the State, the “situation is still fragile.” The panel report would only be in the nature of recommendations, and it was for the mainstream and the off-stream (separatists) and leaders at the national level to take them forward.
On Afzal Guru
On the death sentence awarded to Afzal Guru in the Parliament attack case, Mr. Padgaonkar said: “I personally believe capital punishment is not necessary. There are other ways to ensure that attacks on Parliament do not reoccur. Besides, the matter is before the President.”
Brushing aside reports of bickering within the panel, Mr. Padgaonkar said speculation and rumours were a thing of the past. “We are jointly working on the final report.” He was responding to a question in the backdrop of objections raised by Mr. Ansari to the participation of the other two members in Pakistan's ISI-funded seminars abroad.
The panel was appointed by the Centre following a five-month-long unrest, which claimed 118 lives.