Jammu: The three-member team of interlocutors, who are on a two-day visit to border districts of Poonch and Rajouri, claimed that people in the frontier region are against the demand of ‘azadi’ and division of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The aspirations of people here in this belt is totally different from that of Kashmir. They are against azadi and division of Jammu and Kashmir. We will raise their demands and suggestions before the Government of India (GOI),” Chief Interlocutor Dileep Padgaonkar told reporters in Rajouri.
He said the team of interlocutors are not working on a Kashmir-centric approach, but all the sections of the three regions will be heard to find a durable solution of the issue.
“We believe in taking everybody, every section, every community and three regions onboard to know their demands, suggestions and aspirations to find out a durable political settlement to fulfill aspirations of all the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Padgaonkar along with M M Ansari and Radha Kumar reached Poonch on Saturday and later traveled to Rajouri.
The interlocutors have met around 43 delegations in Poonch and 13 delegations in Rajouri on Sunday and will meet different groups on Monday.
“Here the people are more inclined towards India. One reason may be that they (the people in the border district) have witnessed many wars and suffered. And they have also faced great hardships due to Pakistani firing. I think they are actually the sufferers of war,” said Ansari. adding, ‘most of the delegations which met us were against the division of the state’.
“Some raised local grievances besides employment issues, discrimination with this border district. Some people whose relatives are living on border and whose relatives are living across the border demanded ‘irrelevant borders’ vis-Ã -vis PoK,” Ansari stated.
Radha Kumar said that Rajouri, Poonch and Doda are most backward and underdeveloped areas of Jammu and Kashmir. People have demanded Development Council and we will recommend it to GOI, she said.