PDP has reservations on Kashmir interlocutor nominations

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Srinagar, Oct 15 (ANI): Lashing out at the Centre for its choice of Kashmir interlocutors, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti has said it has dampened the atmosphere of hope generated by the recent all-party delegation.

"Nomination of Kashmir interlocutors has dampened the hope. It is more or less a useless exercise," she said.

She said though the three interlocutors are eminent and highly respected personalities in their fields, the PDP feels their nomination for the Kashmir mission reflects a lack of appreciation of the problem at hand in the state.

"The all-party initiative by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had acted as a message for the people of Kashmir that the country and its political class were concerned about their sentiments and problems," she added

"The visit of leaders from the entire political spectrum had conveyed a rare sense of urgency and seriousness about a people who have historically been at the receiving end of neglect," she said, adding the visit had perhaps played some role in restoring a semblance of normalcy in the Valley.

The government on Wednesday named three interlocutors, including eminent journalist Dilip Padgaonkar, to hold talks with all shades of opinion, including the separatists, in Jammu and Kashmir as part of efforts to bring peace in the state.

Besides Padgaonkar, Information Commissioner M M Ansari and noted academician Radha Kumar were the other two named by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram as interlocutors chosen in consultation with the State government.

The decision to appoint a set of interlocutors was taken at the Cabinet Committee on Security meeting chaired by Prime Manmohan Singh on September 25.

Dr. Dilip Padgaonkar will preside over the group's meetings.

The three interlocutors appointed by the Government have been entrusted with the responsibility of undertaking a sustained dialogue with the people of Jammu and Kashmir to understand their problems and chart a course for the future.

Earlier, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had expressed hope that the interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir would begin their work as early as possible and appealed to all sections of society in Jammu and Kashmir to engage with the interlocutors and help in finding a solution. (ANI)

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