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Give a chance to interlocutors, says Omar

india Updated: Oct 21, 2010 16:09 IST

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In a veiled appeal to separatists, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said the interlocutors appointed by the centre to hold talks with different sections of society in the state should be given a chance as their job was to facilitate dialogue.

"Home Minister (P Chidambaram) has repeatedly maintained that it (Kashmir) is a political problem and will get a political solution. Let us give it a chance," Omar told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Srinagar.

He said there was no reason to criticise the composition of the group of interlocutors at this stage.

"The criticism of the interlocutors at this stage is uncalled for as there is no reason for it. They are not to find a solution but to convey the message from all political shades and opinions in the state to the centre and vice versa," Omar said.

He said the success of the process so far has been that there are no "red lines" or boundaries for the interlocutors to hold discussions on the resolution of the Kashmir issue. "They have been told to come here without any precondition and hold talks to know the various shades of opinion in the state," he said.

The Chief Minister said that based on inputs provided by the interlocutors, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will take a decision. Asked if he was happy with the composition of the group, Omar said the home minister has been regularly consulting him on the subject.

"He has kept a place for a fourth interlocutor as well. Now, discussions will be held on how to strengthen the process," he added.

The Central government has appointed veteran journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, eminent educationist Professor Radha Kumar and member Information Commission M M Ansari to hold talks with different sections of the people in the state.

There have been demands from several quarters that a person with a political background be added as the fourth interlocutor.