Leading Kashmir interlocutor Dileep Padgaonkar on Wednesday suggested taking the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) leadership and the Indian Parliament on board in working out a solution to the valley’s problems.
Also, after travelling to Jammu from Srinagar, he stressed the separatists could be engaged in a dialogue only when they were ready for talks.
“We would like to visit PoK to talk to the leadership there to get their point of view … Also our exercise will be futile if Parliament, which represents the political opinion of the country, is not taken on board.
It’s a huge task but it has to be done,” said Padgaonkar in a meeting with journalists in Srinagar.
“There is no need to impose (restrictions) to quell the assembly of people for peaceful demonstrations,” Padgoankar said.
The team has decided to ask for a report from the Centre on the recommendations submitted by the five working groups formed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2006 to look at various aspects of the Kashmir issue, including political and economic aspects.
While in Srinagar, the three-member team led by Padgaonkar could not meet any separatist leader.
Referring to this in a talk with journalists in Jammu, Padgaonkar said: “I know the compulsions of separatists and I respect them but they should keep in mind that if they are not interested in talks, we will not land at their doorsteps. In turn, I would say the citizens of India too have dignity.”
Earlier in the day, the BJP announced it would boycott the visit of the interlocutors to Jammu in protest against “several irritating utterances” made by them, especially Padgaonkar, on Kashmir and Pakistan. The reference was to Padgaonkar describing Kashmir a “dispute” and “Pakistan (being) a party to it”.
“We will be meeting (senior BJP leader) LK Advani when we go back to New Delhi,” Padgaonkar said.
Hinting at solutions within the framework of the Indian constitution, academic and Kashmir interlocutor Radha Kumar said in Srinagar: “If there comes a time when all parties to the Kashmir issue decided on a solution, and that solution is not within the Indian constitution, the Indian Parliament can amend it.”
Two members of the panel — Padgaonkar and Radha Kumar — will be in Jammu for two days. The third member, information commissioner MM Ansari, has gone back to New Delhi.