NEW DELHI: The Indian 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. Chidambaram said the three interlocutors are “very credible people” and they will begin work as early as possible. “We may add one more interlocutor later,” he said.
The decision to appoint a set of interlocutors was taken at the Cabinet Committee on Security meeting chaired by Prime Mamohan Singh on September 25. The terms and references of the panel will be to hold talks all shades of opinion including mainstream political parties and separatists. The panel will cover views of all the three regions—Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir.
Radha Kumar, who heads the Nelson Mandela Institute of Peace in Jamia Milia Islamia, has been engaged in back-channel discussions with Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Recently, she was in the Valley and had met Geelani who was undergoing treatment in Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar.
Padgaonkar was part of Kashmir committee led by eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani. Ansari, who was professor and Director at the Hamdard University, is an educationist and economist before moving as an Information Commissioner. The Centre had also advised the state government to immediately review the cases of all Public Safety Act detenues and withdraw the detention orders in appropriate cases.-SANA