Opposition parliamentarians and civil society members have formed a parallel committee to push the dialogue process in Jammu and Kashmir, three months after New Delhi announced a group of interlocutors for Kashmir.
The Committee for Promoting Dialogue with Jammu and Kashmir will include AB Bardhan and D Raja from the Communist Party of India, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, Lok Jan Shakti leader Ram Vilas Paswan and civil society members Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Mahesh Bhat, Meena Menon, Anuradha Chenoy and Seema Mustafa.
The political-cum-civil committee will begin a national campaign in the first week of February to reiterate that the Centre-appointed interlocutors do not have the support of Kashmiris. “We do not represent the government but people. During our visit to Kashmir, we were told people demand high-level political group for Kashmir,” Raja said.
The committee visited Kashmir in the first week of December and met senior separatist leaders including Yasin Malik, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Chief minister Omar Abdullah, however, avoided meeting the group fearing it might belittle the role of interlocutors. The three-member panel, appointed by the Centre in October after a five-month unrest that left 112 people dead, has failed to engage separatist leaders so far.