Security Forces Stakeholders In Resolution Process: Interlocutors19 April 2011
Srinagar: The centre’s interlocutors on Kashmir Tuesday added a new dimension to the tangle by incorporating security forces, stationed in the state, as the “major stakeholders” in the resolution process. In the agenda paper distributed to the participants during the second session of the Roundtable Conference with “intelligentsia and academia” at SKICC here, the interlocutors have, besides the Union and the State Governments, national and regional political parties and separatists, included security forces as the major stakeholders for the resolution of Jammu and Kashmir. The paper distributed in the session titled - “The Major Stakeholders” also enlists external actors, including the Diaspora as the stakeholders. “What is each one prepared to contribute in the interest of a lasting settlement?” the paper asks. However, curiously, there is no mention of Pakistan as an external stakeholder in the paper. The session which chaired by veteran journalist BG Verghese and historian Prof Fida Hassnain. The three-member panel of interlocutors headed by Dileep Padgaonkar with Radha Kumar and MM Ansari as its members organised the two-day roundtable conference on their seventh visit here yesterday. Talking to Greater Kashmir, Padgaonkar admitted that the agenda has mentioned the security forces are major stakeholders on Kashmir issue. However he declined to elaborate on it saying: “I will be glad to explain it during the press conference tomorrow.” Today’s session at the roundtable, according to sources, saw participants raising the point that why was not Pakistan included as a stakeholder for resolving Kashmir. Participants from different backgrounds, sources said, argued that the real stakeholders were Kashmiris who were suffering for more than two decades. “The participants said the separatist groups including Hurriyat Conferences and militants represent a sentiment which popularized Kashmir issue at global level and unless talks are initiated with them solution is not possible. Besides there was an argument that Pakistan is one of the main stakeholders,” one of the participants told Greater Kashmir. Independent MLA from Langate, Engineer Rashid who was also a participant at the conference said; “the inclusion of more and more stakeholders would only end up creating confusion.” The conference, he said agreed that there was need to build consensus on resolving Kashmir. For that purpose he said the conference suggested that it was necessary to hold inter-Kashmir conference, and intra-Kashmir conferences between divided parts of Kashmir. The exclusion of Pakistan as a stakeholder for resolving Kashmir from the agenda negates the assertion by the panel members last year that the Pakistan was a stakeholder on Kashmir. “There is a Pakistan dimension to the (Kashmir) issue. Nobody can deny it. Whosoever says the solution can be reached at without taking Pakistan onboard, it can’t happen,” Dileep Padgaonkar, head of the interlocutor panel had told reporters last October here. “The interlocutors should impress upon the government of India to facilitate their visit to other part of Kashmir to interact with people there,” said a participant. Besides the conference has also laid stress on trying to evolve consensus in New Delhi and state for resolving Kashmir and pushing further India-Pak dialogue. Other participants included Siddharth Gigoo, HK Dua, Meenakshi Gopinath, Prof Agha Ashraf Ali, former Chief Engineer, Jatinder Bakshi, Peoples Democratic Party members Nizam-ud-din Bhat and Murtaza Khan. National Conference’s Mehboob Beg and Choudhary Muhammad Ramzan, columnist, ZG Muhammad, Hameeda Nayeem, former bureaucrat, Muhammad Shafi Pandit, Principal SSM College, Dilafroza Qazi, advocate Imtiyaz Ahmad, political scientist Prof Gul Muhammad Wani, former VC, Islamic University, Prof Siddiq Wahid, Delhi University professor, Prof Navnita Chadha, Lt Gen (rtd) VG Patankar, journalist Arun Joshi, Rahil Jalali, and journalist Muhammad Tahir Syed. The panel was supposed to submit its final report to government of India outlining contours of solution to the Kashmir a few months ago. “We are working on the report. It will be submitted soon,” said one interlocutor.