The three interlocutors would hold talks with all sections of society, including the separatists, to keep on a “sustained uninterrupted dialogue” to resolve the Kashmir crisis. The interlocutors had been appointed as per a Cabinet Committee on Security decision and one more person would be appointed an interlocutor, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said.
The announcement of non-political persons as interlocutors came as a surprise to many who were expecting senior politicians with sufficient grounding in the Kashmir issue to be in charge of the dialogue.
The appointments were one of the main points in the Centre’s eight-point agenda announced last month to bring normalcy in Kashmir. The other points include dismantling of bunkers from sensitive places in Kashmir, redeployment of security forces, lifting of curfew from the Valley, economic assistance and a review by the unified command of the Disturbed Area Act in the state.
The three interlocutors will begin the process of “sustained uninterrupted dialogue” with all shades of opinion to resolve the Kashmir problem, Chidambaram said. “We hope that they will begin a process of sustained uninterrupted dialogue with all sections of people, especially with youths and students,” he told newspersons here.
“I would appeal to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to engage with the interlocutors so that we can move forward on the path of finding a solution to the problem,” he said.
Asked why none of the interlocutors had a political background, the Home Minister said all of them had a political persona and they were in public life for a long time.
The Centre on Wednesday also decided to constitute a special task force to examine the development needs of the Ladakh region with particular reference to deficiencies in infrastructure and make suitable recommendations. Similar task forces have been announced by the Centre for both Jammu and Kashmir regions.