Interlocutors working with Govt to ensure ensure peace: Padgaonkar18 May 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Centre’s Interlocutors today said they were working closely with the State Government to ensure that calm and stability prevails in the State. 'We are working closely with the State Government to ensure that calm and stability prevails in the State. We have already given some recommendations and many more are in the pipeline towards achieving this goal,' chief Interlocutor Dileep Padgaonkar said. He said certain remarks about the conduct of the State Government during last year’s summer incidents in the Valley have been wrongly attributed to the Interlocutors in a media report. 'There is not a shred of truth in the report. We have not made those remarks in any of our written or oral communications, neither officially nor even in private conversations to anybody,' Padgaonkar said. The veteran journalist said the report seeks to create fissures between 'the Interlocutors and the State Government. This we will not allow.' Describing the report as 'baseless', Mr Padgaonkar said it was duty of the Reporter to verify facts from him before publishing such a report. The Interlocutors, which also include academician Radha Kumar and former Central Information Commissioner M M Ansari, are on their eighth visit to the State since their appointment in October last year to find a political solution to the Kashmir problem. They called on Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy and National Conference (NC) president, Dr Farooq Abdullah at the latter's residence today. The Union Minister told the Interlocutors that National Conference has always batted for strong ties between India and Pakistan. He said that his party believes that bond of friendship needs to be strengthened between these two countries as it, according to him, benefits the people of the State in the longer run. 'National Conference has always been a votary of peace in the State and same is possible only when both India and Pakistan come close. We always want both India and Pakistan to give up acrimony and live in peace and brotherhood. In fact, we have facilitated as a bridge between both these countries so that they forge strong and better relationship,' Dr Abdullah said. The NC president said that peace in the sub-continent is possible only when India and Pakistan resolve all the outstanding issues and live in peace and harmony. He said that people of State have always yearned for bonhomie between these two countries as the same guarantees life with peace and dignity for them. 'National Conference that represents the true secular nature of the State believes that issues can be solved by reconciliation and peace. We have always promoted peace, friendship and bonhomie in the State and it is due to this reason that people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions live in harmony,' he added. Dr. Abdullah presented his party's view point about the solution to the Kashmir problem saying that granting greater autonomy is the best solution to this issue. He said NC has always followed the path of equitable development for all regions of the State without any discrimination. The NC president informed the Interlocutors about the political situation of State and also apprised them of the problems being faced by common masses. He said people of the State have always been peace loving and don't want any violence to affect their life. The Interlocutors informed the Union Minister about their interactions with people belonging to varied shades of life. They said that during their visits so far they have got access to the diverse opinions of people adding that the same would get reflected in the report to be presented by them to the Union Home Ministry. Meanwhile, the Interlocutors visited the Budgam area today and talked to the people there. They carried out deliberations with various groups of people and listened to their suggestions and, also paid heed to the problems being presented by them. On Tuesday, the Interlocutors visited Pulwama area and talked to various groups of people. They carried out deliberations with transporters and also got to know about the problems being confronted by people living in this South Kashmir district. The Interlocutors, who arrived here on Sunday, took part in the inaugural day proceedings of two day peace conference organized by Jammu & Kashmir Peace Foundation (JKPF) on May 16-17.