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Government draws the line for interlocutors and media

Home Minister P. Chidambaram today asked the interlocutors appointed by the government not to give a "ball-by-ball commentary" about the re-initiated dialogue process in Jammu and Kashmir.

delhi Updated: Nov 01, 2010 16:27 IST

Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday asked the interlocutors appointed by the government not to give a "ball-by-ball commentary" about the re-initiated dialogue process in Jammu and Kashmir.

The remarks came a day after Dileep Padgaonkar, one of the three interlocutors, stirred a controversy following an announcement on TV that some militants may present a peace plan to them on their next visit to the state.

Padgaonkar told a TV channel that a member from a militant outfit told them during their recent trip to the valley that they would "like to submit a peace plan also to us".

"The media should not ask such questions and the interlocutors should not give a ball-by-ball commentary. This is interlocution not a cricket match," Chidambaram told reporters here.

The three interlocutors -- Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and M.M. Ansari -- were appointed by the home minister last month for a "serious dialogue to find a political solution" to the problems in the state rocked by violent protests since June.

In the monthly review of the working of his ministry, Chidambaram, however said the interlocutors "have changed the discourse on Jammu and Kashmir".

"... I sincerely hope the people of Jammu and Kashmir will give peace a chance and dialogue a chance".

He said the situation in the Kashmir Valley where some 110 people have been killed, mostly in firing by security forces on protestors, was "returning to normal - almost".

"But it is too early to say everything is normal. Since the visit of the all-party delegation there is a sense of expectation that political problems will be addressed in all its seriousness."