Radha Kumar quits J&K panel after Ansariís attack


The panel of three interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir is on the brink of breaking up with one of them, Radha Kumar, writing a resignation letter to the union home minister saying that she doesn't want to be associated with her colleague M M Ansari.

Ansari, a former information commissioner, criticised Kumar for attending a Kashmir seminar in Europe organised by the Tramboo Centre. Less than three weeks ago, Ansari had slammed his other colleague and chief interlocutor, journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, for attending a seminar organised by US-based Kashmiri separatist Ghulam Nabi Fai who was arrested by the FBI for illegally lobbying for Pakistan and ISI.

Abdul Majeed Tramboo is also said to be under the scanner for his close coordination with the Pakistani establishment, ISI and Fai.

In her letter, Radha Kumar said she would continue to work on her part of the interlocutors' report due end-September, but would not attend any meetings with Ansari or accept any payments made customarily to all interlocutors.

When asked about his attack, Ansari told The Indian Express: "My working relationship with my colleagues is excellent. And our team work is unaffected and is progressing well. But I must confess that both of my colleagues are unhappy with my remarks on their availing of hospitality offered by foreign agencies, before and after their appointment as interlocutors. I have requested them personally to put in the public domain details of their recent foreign visits so as to avoid any media speculation, but to no avail. The people of J&K who have lived in violence due to militancy and are suspicious of our intentions due to broken promises, expect us to be truthful in anything we do. This is what bothers me and makes me spend sleepless nights."

In her letter to the Home Minister, Radha Kumar said that she attended the conference in 2006 at the behest of the Centre and was accompanied by G Parthasarathy. "We were both encouraged to go by the Government of India...on the grounds that it was useful for independent Indians to put their views in what was clearly going to be a heavily biased forum taking place in European Parliament...Before going we were briefed by MEA and were in touch with our embassy in Brussels before, during and after the conference."

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