Kashmir Mediators Face Embarrassment In Baramulla10 November 2010
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: Kashmir interlocutors on Wednesday faced an embarrassing situation in north Kashmir's Baramulla district when no major civil society bodies, traders, transporters or lawyers came to meet them during their visit. Academician Radha Kumar and information commissioner MM Ansari reached Baramulla town, 60 km north of Srinagar, in the afternoon after staying in Ladakh for a day. Before landing in Baramulla district, the interlocutors visited Kargil and met political, social and civil society members there. In Baramulla town, for the whole day, no significant or high-profile delegation came to see them except for representatives of mainstream political parties. he interlocutors had intimated local divisional commissioner and state government authorities to rope in civil society members in the district. But the administration failed to attract any significant delegate from among fruit traders, transporters or lawyers from the district. Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has asked people to boycott the interlocutors till his five-point demands are met by New Delhi, which includes demilitarization and declaring Kashmir as an international dispute. 'Nothing major happened in Baramulla district today (Wednesday),' Kumar told the Hindustan Times. The interlocutors, however, met a journalists' body, which included a Tongo (horse-driven cart)-owner Nissar Yatoo. Major trade and lawyers bodies' are from north Kashmir with their base in Sopore, known as apple town of Kashmir, and Baramulla. It's the north Kashmir traders who favoured cross-LoC trade with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in the past. Home minister P Chidamabaram met a series of delegations of traders, transporters and lawyers on his visit on October 31. But this time the interlocutors failed to evince any positive response from civil society or business houses.