Home minister P Chidambaram on Monday credited the three interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir led by journalist Dileep Padgaonkar with having managed to “change the discourse" but told them not to give a "ball-by-ball commentary" about the progress made.
“I think media should not ask and interlocutors should not give a ball-by-ball commentary about their dialogue. This is interlocution. This is not a cricket match,” Chidambaram said after presenting his ministry’s monthly report.
Similarly, the home minister also asked the BJP to exercise restraint vis-à-vis the interlocutors. If the BJP wants the dialogue process to succeed, it should show restraint, he said. “They should give the dialogue process a chance to succeed.”
J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah agreed with Chidambaram’s assessment, saying the people were ready to listen to what the Centre-appointed panel have to say.
The chief minister said their visit has “changed the direction of discourse in the Valley as appeals of separatists asking people to keep away from the group have not elicited a favourable response.
“In the small period that they have spent in the Valley, the views of interlocutors are attracting more attention than those expressed by the people who are staying away from them,” he said.
Earlier, presenting his ministry’s report for October, Chidambaram said the visit of the all-party delegation was followed by a sense of expectation in J&K that the political problem of the state would be addressed. The Cabinet Committee on Security had responded to this expectation by its eight-point formula.
Chidambaram also explained the decision not to register a case against writer Arundhati Roy for her alleged seditious speech recently, saying there was no incitement to violence. “Section 124(A) of the IPC (related to sedition) is for deterrence and punishment. The spirit of the law and true interpretation of law is that unless there is direct incitement to violence, the state must show tolerance and forbearance.
“Delhi police is acting in accordance with the letter and spirit of the law,” he said. “Not taking action is also an action,” he said when asked why the government was not acting against Roy for her speech at a convention on Kashmir recently.