Interlocutors Morph ‘Roadmap’ To ‘Report,’ Say Kashmir Too Complex For Haste1 July 2011
Srinagar: New Delhi’s interlocutors for Kashmir would present a ‘comprehensive report’ to the centre at the end of their term in October, their chief, Dileep Padgaonkar, said on Friday. Having already failed to keep their promise of coming out with a “roadmap” in February this year to resolve the Kashmir issue, the interlocutors now appear to be subtly changing their terminology as well, preferring to speak of a ‘comprehensive report’ instead of the earlier, more concrete and definite ,vocabulary. Despite claiming to hold an ‘open mandate’ from the centre, the team has cast shadows on itself by untimely remarks, promises, and claims, together with a gradual toning down of the scope and purpose of their mission. Having begun with asserting that he had been mandated to resolve the Kashmir issue, Padgaonkar today said that it was entirely for New Delhi to take a final decision on a political settlement of the longstanding question. But still, the chief interlocutor insisted that his team would not allow the importance and credibility of its mandate from the centre to be undermined. Sections of public opinion in Kashmir earlier prepared to give the interlocutors’ mission the benefit of the doubt, primarily because of the latter’s high credentials, have now begun to harbour apprehensions, not the least because of a perceptible change in the team’s language. The panel, nevertheless, has maintained the tempo of its interactions in the state, with Padgaonkar today announcing another visit by July six, to be mainly focussed on three districts. Talking to the KNS on phone, the noted journalist refused to be drawn out on the contents of his “comprehensive report,” saying that disclosing any details prematurely would have a negative impact. Parrying questions on the conclusions the team had drawn from its tours of the state so far, Padgaonkar said that the Kashmir issue was highly complicated due to what he termed as a wide diversity of views, thinking and approach of various political and public circles. “It is highly important that all points of view are taken on board,” he said. When asked why the present peaceful climate could not be capitalised on, the interlocutor said that ‘hasty steps would not be wise in the complex and complicated nature of the Kashmir issue.’ Padgaonkar refused to comment on team member MM Ansari’s claim that it had recommended revoking ASSPA, enhancing cross-LoC trade, and permission to demonstrate and protest in its interim report to the centre.