Our Solutions Will Be Within The Framework Of Constitution: J&K Interlocutors21 September 2011
Srinagar: The Centre-appointed interlocutors on Wednesday said the solution to political issues of Jammu and Kashmir would be within the framework of Constitution. “Our recommendations for solution to political issues of the State will be within the framework of the Indian Constitution,” Dileep Padgaonkar, head of the three-member panel, told reporters in Srinagar. The recommendations will be based on principles of humanity and justice to address the political aspirations of the people of the State, he said. “With the political aspirations come social, cultural and economic aspirations as well, which need to be addressed. However, addressing these aspirations cannot be a substitute to addressing the political aspirations,” he added. Last official visit Mr. Padgaonkar said the team will submit its report to Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram before October 12. “This is our last official visit to the State before we hand over our recommendations which will happen by October 12. The recommendations will be unanimous,” he said. The team had met political parties and other stakeholders at the State-level and in all 22 districts of Jammu and Kashmir. “These interactions will be reflected in the final report,” he said. ‘Separatists might have compulsions’ On the failure to rope in separatists, Mr. Padgaonkar said it was not for want of trying but due to the refusal of “off stream” parties in utilising the opportunity. “It was not for want of trying that we were not able to meet them. We had extended our hand but they refused to grasp it,” he said, adding that the separatists might have had their own compulsions for this decision. Asked if the interlocutors had shut the doors on separatists by maintaining that solution has to be within the Constitution, Mr. Padgaonkar said, “a solution outside Union of India is not acceptable to even people from certain regions and sub-regions of the State, let alone the people of rest of the country.” He said a great deal of work had to be done by the political stakeholders at national level even after the recommendations are accepted. “We will submit the recommendations to Home Minister and the report will be put before the government for consideration. Even after accepting the report, a great deal of work has to be done by the political stakeholders to see if there can be an alternative narrative to Kashmir,” he said. ‘Improved’ situation in Kashmir Briefing the media about the 11-month-long process of interactions, Mr. Padgaonkar said the situation in the State has changed for the better. “Levels of violence have declined. Tourists and pilgrims in unprecedented numbers have visited the State. The voter turnout in panchayat elections has also been impressive. The changed situation, we know, is still fragile,” he said. Mr. Padgaonkar said the people, the State government and security forces deserve praise for ensuring the positive trend. “Everyone will need to build on it to see that more change is swiftly visible on the ground.” He said the report will reflect in “fullest measure possible” what people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions seek to lead a life of peace and prosperity with their honour and dignity intact. “We will address their diverse political, social, economic and cultural aspirations without disrupting the unity of the State and its special constitutional status in the Indian Union. “They are entitled to enjoy the democratic rights that can be rightfully claimed in their dual capacity as State subjects and as citizens of India without terrifying pulls and pressures of the past,” he added. The Interlocutors expressed their gratitude to all those who facilitated their task, including Governor N. N. Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.