Roadmap for K-resolution in a year: Interlocutors
‘Necessary To Engage Pakistan’
Srinagar, Nov 14: The New Delhi appointed interlocutors Sunday said they would come up with a “framework” for permanent resolution of the Kashmir dispute in less than a year.
On the final day of their second leg of visit to Jammu and Kashmir, the interlocutors said engaging Pakistan for the settlement of Kashmir was a “necessity” for India and they would like the process to be resumed from where it was left during the Musharaff era, when two nations were close to arrive at a solution.
“It is early to talk about the roadmap. We have just begun the process. Hurriyat is a key and an important stakeholder in it (process). We will come up with framework (for Kashmir resolution) after six to nine months,” one of the three interlocutors, Radha Kumar, told reporters on sidelines of a press conference here, prior to their return to New Delhi.
“Engaging Pakistan for solution of entire former princely state is a necessity (for India). Pakistan as you know is in control of large part of Kashmir,” said the academician, Radha, flanked by another interlocutor, MM Ansari.
Kumar said the period during which Pakistan was involved in peace process with India in 2003-06 was marked by considerable improvement in the ground situation.
“We (India and Pakistan) were close to building a framework for political settlement of the dispute. We would like to resume the process from where it was left then. Unfortunately Pakistan is disinterested now but we are hopeful that there will be a change,” Kumar responded to a question.
Asked by Greater Kashmir whether she was referring to the Musharaff’s 4-point formula for resolution of Kashmir, Kumar said: “The formula was a starting point. Beyond that I can’t elaborate.”
The then president of Pakistan General Parvez Musharaff had proposed the formula in 2006. It included withdrawal of troops from both parts of Kashmir, self-governance; making borders irrelevant between two Kashmir’s and a joint supervision mechanism in Jammu and Kashmir involving India, Pakistan and Kashmir. Earlier this year Musharaff revealed that India and Pakistan were “very close” to solve the Kashmir issue on the basis of his formula.
Asked if the interlocutors still believed that Kashmir was a dispute, Kumar said, “We stand by whatever we have said earlier.”
During the team’s first visit to Kashmir Valley, the chief interlocutor, Dileep Padgaonkar had said Kashmir was a dispute and Pakistan has a key role in its resolution.
On separatists’ refusal to meet them, Kumar said she was hopeful of meeting them. “We would want to meet the separatists on every trip to the state and I hope we will meet them soon. It is a hope,” she said.
She said there was unanimity of opinion among people of Jammu and Kashmir on four points: Everybody believes that Kashmir needs a comprehensive and lasting political settlement to be achieved sooner than later and most people believe that it is the urgent pressing requirement of present situation; the solution can’t be achieved without taking steps on the ground which will ultimately enable dialogue between the stakeholders; long duration of conflict and uncertainty over identity and status of J&K combined with its division in 1947 has added new layers of complexity and conflicting factors to the conflict and the way to resolve the problem is to recognize the honor and dignity of all concerned actors.
“We acknowledge that there was diversity of opinion and we anticipate that there will be different opinion on what a solution could be based,” Kumar said. She said the interlocutors have asked for a list of youth detained by the state government during the recent unrest and those who are still under detention.
“We appealed to the state government to ask the security forces to exercise maximum restraint while handling law and order,” Kumar said. She rejected that the interlocutor were on a ‘fact finding’ mission. “Had it been the case, we would have been doing archival research. We are here as interlocutors,” she said.
Asked about the authorities the interlocutors report to, she said they reported to Prime Minister and the state Chief Minister.
Kumar evaded a direct answer when asked whether they had recommended release of separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah. “Release of separatist leaders is important,” she said.
Kumar said the biggest challenge before the team was to demonstrate their credibility with regard to resolution of Kashmir issue. “Our biggest challenge is to demonstrate our credibility,” Kumar said while responding to a question.
She denied that there was any rift within the team of interlocutors. The interlocutors would be visiting Jammu during their next two visits to the state to meet cross section of people.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 14 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 14 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 15 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST
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