Mind Your Mandate: Coalition To Interlocutors26 December 2010
Srinagar: Disappointed over their recent statements about the functioning of the coalition government, the ruling National Conference-Congress coalition Sunday asked the interlocutors to stick to their mandate instead of looking for ‘loopholes’ within the present dispensation. Stating that the interlocutors have been assigned the job to suggest ways to settle Kashmir, senior NC leader and MP from South Kashmir, Mehboob Beg said, “They should address why the youth were shouting ‘Go India Go’ during the six months of agitation which claimed 112 lives this year.” The NC leader said by questioning the functioning of the coalition, the interlocutors were trying to ‘divert’ the attention from the main issue. “Their efforts should have been directed at addressing the alienation instead of using the word trust deficit,” he said. During a press conference on December 23, the team of interlocutors comprising Dileep Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and M M Ansari, had asked the state government to put in efforts to end the “trust-deficit between the rulers and the ruled”. “Kashmir is not North East. We are going through worst kind of political instability. Instead of finding faults within the coalition, the interlocutress should have tried to reach out to both factions of Hurriyat Conference,” Beg said. “Their mandate is to suggest ways for permanent political settlement- engaging Pakistan or initiating a meaningful dialogue. Criticizing the government, which faced worst-ever five months, doesn’t make any sense,” he added. Meanwhile, the state unit of Congress was more guarded in its response on the issue. “I had a detailed interaction with the interlocutors. We discussed many issues threadbare. I told them they should try to create a situation where in Kashmir could speak in one voice,” state Congress chief, Saifudin Soz told Rising Kashmir over phone from New Delhi. “At the same time, I told them that the integrity of all the three regions of the state was of a paramount importance,” he said. Soz, however, declined to comment on the ‘trust deficit’ remarks of interlocutors. “I can’t say anything on this,” he said. Meanwhile, a senior Congress minister, wishing not to be named, said the interlocutors should deliver on their mandate rather than raising finger on the coalition functioning. “It is the coalition that went through hell since June 11 in Kashmir. Criticizing the government doesn’t look nice on part of the interlocutors,” he said. Peoples Democratic Front president, Hakeem Muhammad Yasin said governance deficit or trust deficit are the issues that can be solved in the later stage. “The interlocutors should focus on the bigger issue which is Kashmir. Accountability, transparency, building trust are the things that can be taken care of once the bigger issue is settled,” he said.