Jammu: Questioning the locus standi of the Kashmir Committee headed by BJP MP and senior Supreme Court lawyer Ram Jethmalani, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said the only recognized dialogue being carried out was between the Centre-appointed interlocutors and people of Jammu and Kashmir.

 “If somebody wants to come and spend personal time, no problem,” Omar Abdullah told reporters on sidelines of a function organized by ‘Kashmir Ink Foundation’.

Jethmalani is heading the six member committee formed ten years back. Terming the committee to be completely apolitical, Jethmalani said on Tuesday that no assessment of the situation in the Valley would be complete until a proper dialogue with the separatists takes place.

In that context, Jethmalani had termed the exercise being carried out by the Padgaonkar-led team unsatisfactory as the separatists refused to have a dialogue with the government appointed panel.

Madhu Kishwar, former law minister Shanti Bhushan, senior journalist MJ Akbar, ex-foreign secretary Vinod Grover and Pulwama journalist Wahidurrahman are other members on the panel.

Replying to a question about allegations made by a senior IPS officer against his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi, Omar said, “It is important to understand that statement from the senior officer is a part of the ongoing investigation. For me, to comment on an ongoing investigation before it is concluded, would be most inappropriate. 

The allegations are very serious and cannot be wished away… but for us to comment, it would be most inappropriate.”

On the charges of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati that the ten-member drafting Committee of Lokpal Bill does not include a Dalit, Omar said the criteria for selecting representatives on a panel that would draft an anti-corruption Bill is merit and not the caste, sex or religion of an individual.

“The committee has been set up to draft an effective Lokpal Bill that would fight corruption. The representatives in the committee have been chosen on the basis of merit.  It is an effort by the Central government and the Civil Society in their fight against corruption. The issue is not the inclusion of Muslim, Women and Dalit representatives,” he said.

JPN/Bureau