Pandits, BJP boycott interlocutors in Jammu


Jammu: The central team of interlocutors on Kashmir Thursday concluded their visit to Jammu region on a disappointing note with some of the important groups, including the Pandits and the BJP, boycotting them.

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The interlocutors, however, exhibited optimism that they would be having more groups on board during their next visit, sometime in November. “We have covered much of the ground and we have been able to hear many groups and various shades of opinion,” Dileep Padgaonkar, one of the three interlocutors told newsmen Thursday afternoon before returning to Delhi.

Padgaonkar and academic Radha Kumar arrived here Wednesday afternoon, while the third interlocutor M.M. Ansari had left for Delhi.

During their stay in Jammu, the two interlocutors met migrants at the Muthi camp and several other groups of the Kashmiri Hindus who were displaced during the start of the militancy in the Valley in 1990. They also met some of the organizations of Pakistani-occupied Kashmir refugees and groups of Pahari-speaking people.

The ruling Congress and National Conference alliance delegations met the interlocutors but many Kashmiri Pandit organizations and major political parties of Jammu – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Jammu Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) – boycotted them.

“They are pursuing a separatist agenda, hence we don’t see any point in meeting them,” JKNPP legislature party leader told IANS, while the BJP said the “interlocutors by suggesting the involvement of Pakistan in the Kashmir issue have shown their tilt.”

Rajiv Chuni, president SOS international, an organization of PoK refugees, told the interlocutors that they should first take into cognizance the invasion of Jammu and Kashmir by tribesman of Pakistan and the displacement of more than 1.2 million people due to the illegal occupation of Pakistan before looking at a solution of the Kashmir crisis.

“We have made it clear that they should visit our camps to know our plight and learn our history before suggesting any way forward on the Kashmir solution,” Rajiv Chuni told reporters after meeting the interlocutors.