Jethmalani Secures Date With Hurriyat Factions3 May 2011
Srinagar: Distancing itself from Government of India, the recently revived Kashmir Committee, headed by eminent lawyer, Ram Jethmalani, Tuesday claimed to have taken a lead over interlocutors by securing appointments with both the factions of Hurriyat Conference. Convener of the committee, Madhu Kishwar said both the factions of Hurriyat have confirmed the meeting with them.“We will be arriving on May 7 and will stay in Kashmir for three days. We will be meeting both factions of Hurriyat besides the cross section of society,” Kishwar told Rising Kashmir over phone from New Delhi. The noted social activist said they would listen to everybody. “No group can prepare roadmap for Kashmir solution. The problem belongs to people and they will suggest what they want.” In an apparent reference to the interlocutors, she said, “Those who claim to be coming up with a roadmap are living in fool’s paradise.” Kishwar said they will also prepare a document of their assessment. On whether they would share it with GoI, she said, “Well if they (GoI) want to have a look at our assessment, we won’t mind sharing our observations.” Meanwhile, the five-member committee will arrive in the valley on May 7 with the aim “to understand the real problem in its true sense and facilitate a solution, with no backing from New Delhi”. The committee was active till 2004. At present its members are senior journalist M J Akbar, retired Indian Foreign Service officer V K Grover and a local journalist Waheed-ur-Rehman Para. On how they see the appointment of interlocutors and other groups, Kiswhar said all the members of the committee were non-political figures with no backing of any political party or group. Head of the three-member team of interlocutors, Dilip Padgaonkar has also been a member of the committee. “We are coming of our own. We will come to educate ourselves. If people of Kashmir won’t accept us we will leave the valley and stay in our homes,” Kishwar said. “But so far we have got a good response from the people we tried to contact for meeting. Some people expressed their reservations but did not rule out meetings with us,” she added. Many groups like ‘Committee for promotion of Dialogue with Jammu and Kashmir’ of which Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan is a member, BJP Study Group, headed by former national president Rajnath Singh, track two panel led by Prof Amitabh Matoo and the Centre for Peace and Analysis headed by senior journalist, Seema Mustafa. It may be recalled that the three-member panel comprising veteran journalist, Dilip Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and former information commissioner, M M Ansari recently claimed to have broken the ice by having a meeting with senior Hurriyat (M) leader Moulana Abbas Ansari. The development resulted in the ouster of Ansari from the amalgam.