People in Valley yearning for candid talk: Padgaonkar | india | Hindustan Times
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People in Valley yearning for candid talk: Padgaonkar

Eminent journalist Dilip Padgaonkar, who heads the Centre's three-member team of interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir, today said that people in Srinagar were sceptical of "sweet words" and "tall promises" but had a yearning for candid talk.

india Updated: Oct 24, 2010 16:52 IST

Eminent journalist Dilip Padgaonkar, who heads the Centre's three-member team of interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir, on Sunday said that people in Srinagar were sceptical of "sweet words" and "tall promises" but had a yearning for candid talk.

"It has been only one day since we arrived but our initial assessment is that people are yearning (for) talk. I am not talking about this group or that group. I am talking about a cross-section of people whom we met," Padgaonkar said.

Padgaonkar, who arrived in Srinagar on Saturday with two other interlocutors, said the people he had met so far were "sharp and intelligent".

"The people we have met are very sharp and intelligent. They want candid and straight talk. They are very sceptical of the person who comes with sweet words and tall promises. I think (they) had enough of that," he said.

There is a need for a "different kind of narrative, different from the beaten path," he added.

Padgaonkar said that the Kashmir problem is political in nature and not economic. "We need to understand the dimensions of the problems. The problem in not economic, it is of political nature."

The three interlocutors had on saturday visited Srinagar Central Jail and talked to detenues for more than two hours.

"We were yesterday in Central jail for more than two hours meeting militants who had come from across the LoC (Line of Control). They wanted to talk to us and we will go again to meet them," he said.

On hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's call for boycott of interlocutors, Padgaonkar said that this team was different from those which visited in the past.

"You have to look at the statement of interlocutors from the beginning. We are the first to talk about a comprehensive solution of Kashmir (problem)," he said.

Asked if they would hold talks with militants, Padgaonkar said that they will talk to everyone. "We are not going to go across the LoC (to talk to militants). That is not our mandate. But we have said we will talk to everyone who wishes to talk to us. So why leave anyone out," he said.