Noted jurist and head of the Kashmir Committee Ram Jethmalani on Thursday held meetings with separatist leaders in Srinagar including Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani and said a solution to the Kashmir issue is not far away.
"I am not claiming that a solution will be reached today or tomorrow but after the respect, love and gesture shown by Geelani, I am sure a solution is not far away and not so difficult to achieve," Jethmalani told reporters after meeting the Hurriyat hawk at his Hyderpora residence.
He also said that a solution to the vexed issue can be achieved only through peaceful dialogue.
"A solution to Kashmir has to be found through peaceful dialogue, without using terrorism, violence and crime," the BJP MP, who began his five-day tour of the state today as the head of the panel, said.
Jethmalani said the committee will try to work out a solution by meeting every stakeholder in the political sphere of Kashmir and cross sections of Kashmiri society.
"Today I heard Geelani in a conducive and lovely atmosphere. I told him that it is my responsibility to make the government and people of the country aware of the complaints which have become an obstacle in finding a solution to the Kashmir issue," he said, adding, when the hurdles are cleared, a solution will emerge automatically.
The Jethmalani-led committee was formed during the Prime Ministership of A B Vajpayee in 2002 to open a channel of dialogue mainly with senior separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir. Apart from Jethmalani, other members of the panel are senior counsel Shanti Bhushan, academic and editor Madhu Keshwar and journalist M J Akbar.