India names mediators to hold Kashmir dialogue

Protest in Srinagar on 14 September 2010 Recent protests are the biggest security challenge to Indian rule in many years

The Indian government has named three mediators to begin a dialogue with people in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Journalist Dilip Padgaonkar, bureaucrat MM Ansari and academician Radha Kumar will begin work soon.

The appointments are part of measures aimed at defusing tension. More than 100 Kashmiris have been killed since June in protests against Indian rule.

Separatist groups called the mediating team "a joke" rather than a serious attempt to resolve Kashmir's problems.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Kashmir since an armed revolt erupted in 1989.

'Credible'

Last month, Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram said the federal government would appoint a group to begin what he described as a sustained dialogue with Kashmiris, including political parties.

He said the three mediators were "very credible people", and that the government might add another mediator to the group later.

Mr Padgaonkar has been part of a committee on Kashmir in the past, while Mr Ansari is India's information commissioner. Ms Kumar heads an academic institute in Delhi and has been engaged in discussions with Kashmir separatist leaders in the past.

The government has also re-opened all schools and universities which were closed during recent unrest and pulled down some security bunkers as part of a range of measures designed to bring normalcy to the valley.

A prominent separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, dismissed the announcements as "meaningless".

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who heads the moderate faction of the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), was also dismissive.

"We expected a political committee comprising members of the opposition as well as the governing parties. Such a committee would talk with Pakistan as well as with Kashmiri leaders," he said.

"By appointing academicians and journalists to the committee, the Indian government has sought to make light of the Kashmir problem. It is yet another joke played with the people of Kashmir."

More on This Story

Kashmir Flashpoint

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More South Asia stories

RSS

Features

  • How ebola spread graphicPatient zero

    Tracking first Ebola victim and how virus spread


  • A young Chinese girl looks at an image of BarbieBarbie's battle

    Can the doll make it in China at the second attempt?


  • Prosperi in the 1994 MdSLost in the desert

    How I drank bat blood and urine to survive in the Sahara


  • Afghan interpetersBlacklisted

    The Afghan interpreters left by the US to the mercy of the Taliban


  • Flooded homesNo respite

    Many hit by last winter's floods are struggling to pay soaring insurance bills


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.