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We spared no effort to reach out to separatists: Padgaonkar

india Updated: Feb 26, 2011 13:48 IST

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The Centre's interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday said they will submit their report to the Government on the Kashmir issue irrespective of whether separatists give their opinion or not.

"If we do not get inputs from the separatists, we will go ahead and submit the report (to Centre) nevertheless," head of the three-member interlocutors team Dileep Padgaonkar told reporters at the end of their fifth visit to the state.

The interlocutors had sent letters to all separatist outfits, including both factions of Hurriyat Conference, asking them to give their inputs on resolution of Kashmir issue so that they could be incorporated in the final report to the Centre.

"We have spared no effort to reach out to the separatists. We have stretched the limits of courtesy to reach out to them but their response so far has been negative," Padgaonkar said.

He said the team will leave it to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to judge whether the stand taken by the separatists on not meeting them was right.

In response to a question about the fate of the Kashmir Committee headed by former Union Law Minister Ram Jethmalani, Padgaonkar said the initiative was non-official and its recommendations were not binding on the government.

"This team is official and so far our recommendations have been accepted and now these are to be implemented," Padgaonkar, who was a member of the Jethmalani-led committee, said.

He said it was for the separatists to explain their refusal to meet the interlocutors as the team had the backing of the Government including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Padgaonkar said Democratic Freedom Party leader Shabir Ahmad Shah has responded to the letter sent to him by the team saying "such talks would be relevant and significant when draconian laws are repealed, political prisoners and youth are released, withdrawal of troops begins and persons involved in human rights violations are brought to book".

"We urge Shah to embark on an engagement with us so that the very first point on the agenda could be the issues he has listed in his letter," he said.

Padgaonkar said the team will be submitting an initial report to the Centre next month which will contain the recommendations and broad contours for resolution of the Kashmir issue.