MHA steps in to sort out K-panel mess
PC Requests Radha To Continue; Asks Ansari To Refrain From Diatribe
Srinagar, Aug 10: Embarrassed by the internal differences in the panel of interlocutors on Kashmir, New Delhi has finally stepped in to address the issue to let the panel “complete the task.”
Highly placed sources disclosed to Greater Kashmir that the Home Minister P Chidambaram Wednesday evening spoke to interlocutors—journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, academic Radha Kumar and former information commissioner MM Ansari—about the internal strife erupting at the fag end of the panel’s term, ending in October.
The Home Minister’s intervention comes a day after Kumar desired to quit in the wake of “smearing campaign against her” by MM Ansari over her attending a conference in Europe.
“The Home Minister requested Kumar not to quit and continue with taking the mission to its logical conclusion. He also requested Ansari not to level allegations against the panel members,” the sources said. “The Home Minister asked the panelists to focus on the final report on Kashmir which they are supposed to submit to the Home Ministry by the end of September or mid October.”
Kumar had shot off a letter to the Home Minster, expressing in very subtle words her desire to quit the panel in the wake of “smear campaign against her” by Ansari.
Ansari has reportedly criticized Kumar for attending a Kashmir seminar in Europe organised by Abdul Majeed Tramboo’s Kashmir Centre, allegedly under the scanner for his close coordination with Ghulam Nabi Fai.
Sources from New Delhi told Greater Kashmir that Radha has asked the Home Minister “to do something about the smear campaign against her or else she would not like to be a part of the panel”—something which is understood to have perturbed the Home Ministry.
A New Delhi based newspaper Tuesday quoted Ansari as saying: “My working relationship with my colleagues is excellent. And our team-work is unaffected and is progressing well. But I must confess that both of my colleagues are unhappy with my remarks on their availing of hospitality offered by foreign agencies, before and after their appointment as interlocutors. I have requested them personally to put in the public domain details of their recent foreign visits so as to avoid any media speculation, but to no avail. The people of J&K who have lived in violence due to militancy and are suspicious of our intentions due to broken promises, expect us to be truthful in anything we do. This is what bothers me and makes me spend sleepless nights.”
Just a few weeks back, Ansari openly sought “stepping down” of the chief interlocutor Dileep Padgaonkar in the backdrop of the fact that Padgaonkar had attended an international conference organised by US-based Ghulam Nabi Fai, arrested by the FBI for ‘illegally’ lobbying for Pakistan. Ansari told a New Delhi based newspaper that “it is very strange and unfortunate. We need persons of impeccable integrity and character to resolve an issue as contentious as Kashmir. Was the Government of India aware about Dileep attending the conference organised by Fai before it appointed him?”
The newspaper quoted Ansari as saying that while he could not speak for Padgaonkar, if he had been in the same position, he would have “quit immediately”.
Referring to Padgaonkar’s claim that he “had no idea” about Fai’s antecedents, Ansari wondered: “How can you attend a conference without knowing the credibility of the individuals and the institutions?”
The issue had reportedly perturbed New Delhi as the differences were being discussed publicly at a time when the panel has just begun drafting final report on Kashmir.
IT IS A CLOSED CHAPTER: RADHA
Taking to Greater Kashmir, Radha Kumar said the issue (of quitting) is a closed chapter. “Now it is time to write the report and focus on it,” she said. “I am sure that we won’t let the internal differences, if any, interfere with the task of doing justice to our mission and writing a comprehensive report on Kashmir.”
Radha refused to comment on whether Home Minister spoke to her about the issue. “It is a closed chapter now,” she said.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 11 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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