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Kashmir interlocutors deny proposing pre-1953 status

Sunday April 24, 2011 06:42:48 PM, IANS

Jammu: Distancing themselves from reports that they were proposing reversing the clock to the pre-1953 semi-sovereign days, the three interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir said Sunday they had prepared no such draft "on these lines".

"All we can say is that we have not prepared any draft as yet nor there is one ready to be submitted in the near future on these lines," said Dileep Padgaonkar, leader of the three-member team, at a press conference here Sunday. Till 1953, the state had control over all affairs barring defence, communications and external affairs.

The three interlocutors were briefing the media about their seventh visit to Jammu and Kashmir, during which they met a cross-section of people in the Kashmir Valley, as also in the Doda and Kishtwar districts in Jammu region and also held a meeting with the Jammu Bar Association.

The highlight of their visit was a meeting with separatist leader Moulvi Abbas Ansari in Srinagar on Wednesday for which he has been expelled from the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference for "violating" the Hurriyat stand of not talking to the interlocutors. But Ansari hailed his expulsion from the Hurriyat as an unshackling experience for him.

As the interlocutors started briefing the media about their just-concluded visit, they were grilled for having made their recommendations public even before submitting them to the central government.

"We have not made any recommendations nor is there any particular recommendation in our mind unless we speak to all the people. Our report would be comprehensive and containing all major viewpoints," Padgaonkar said.

The two other interlocutors Radha Kumar and M.M. Ansari nodded in agreement.

The interlocutors would be submitting their interim report next month, according to sources close to them.

The central government appointed the interlocutors in the wake of street protests in Kashmir and police action in which more than 100 protestors were killed in the summer of 2010. The interlocutors were tasked with suggesting ways of bringing about sustained peace in the state.






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