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Omar Abdullah praises efforts of interlocutors appointed by Centre

June 11, 2011 - Jammu

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has lauded the efforts of the three interlocutors appointed by the Centre to find a lasting political settlement of all contentious issues in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Commenting upon interlocutors is not in anybody's favour. These interlocutors have been empowered by the Government of India and not any individual. And they have completed their work very effectively. Let them finalise their report. I think their success would depend upon what steps will be taken by the Centre according to their report," Abdullah told mediapersons here on Friday.

The three interlocutors comprising senior journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and Central Information Commissioner M. M. Ansari held discussions with different political parties including Kashmir separatist leaders as well as representatives of civil society on a wide range of issues to resolve the simmering unrest in Kashmir Valley.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, appointed the three-member panel on October 13 last year to ascertain the cross section of opinions, including that of separatists.

They are soon expected to submit the final roadmap about the contours of solution to Kashmir issue to the Union Home Ministry.

The three-member panel has so far submitted a number of recommendations to the Central Government, including expediting cases of under trials, permitting peaceful protests and releasing militants and protesters against whom there are no serious charges.

In the wake of recent reports of rift between the alliance of the ruling Congress Party and the National Conference, Abdullah clarified that no hard feelings exist between the two parties.

"As far as I am concerned and far as the top leadership of the Congress Party is concerned, there is absolutely nothing wrong in the relationship between the two parties. In fact, if anything during the recent visit of Sonia Gandhi (Congress President) to Basohli, you got the clearest of indication of how strong this relationship is and the future direction in which it is heading," he added.

Sonia Gandhi visited Basohli on May 23, where she laid the foundation stone of Jammu and Kashmir's first cable-stayed bridge to be constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).


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