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We are satisfied with Kashmir visit, say interlocutors

By Mukhtar Ahmad
October 26, 2010 13:51 IST
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The panel of Kashmir interlocutors, which is winding up its visit to the troubled Valley, is scheduled to visit Jammu on Wednesday to continue 'their process of confabulation' with the cross-section of society.
"We will be visiting Jammu on Wednesday," eminent journalist Dileep Padgaonkar told

Padgaonkar said that he was 'satisfied with the Kashmir visit'. "We will be in Jammu tomorrow to continue our interaction with people," he said.
Though the interlocutors have been rejected by separatist leaders, Padgaonkar said, "We are ready to meet the separatists as and when they would like to meet us'.
He added, "The panel was functioning within the parameters of its mandate which was to talk to people, listen to their remarks and suggestions".
"We have to acknowledge that there is a problem in Kashmir and we are trying to focus political attention on it," he said.
The panel held extensive discussions with state Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, youths, several delegations and detenues in Srinagar central jail.
They also went to visit the ailing mother of jailed senior separatist leader Shabir Shah, who has refused to be released on parole because of the stringent conditions attached.
Abdullah has supported Padgaonkar's view about Pakistan's role in the final settlement but the Bharatiya Janata Party has objected to it.
Abdullah, while talking to journalists, said, "After the signing of Shimla agreement, Kashmir had figured in the talks between the two countries."

"Pakistan has a role in Kashmir. How can you ignore it," Abdullah said.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar