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All Indians in J-K are stakeholders: Dineshwar Sharma

When asked whether he considered Hurriyat Conference a stakeholder, Sharma said, “All Indian citizens living in Jammu and Kashmir are stakeholders.”

india Updated: Nov 10, 2017 20:37 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Jammu Kashmir,Special Representative,Dineshwar Sharma
Centre's special representative for Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma on his way for a meeting with various delegations in Jammu on Friday.(PTI)

The Centre’s special representative for Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma on Friday indicated his keenness to engage separatists in talks, saying that “all Indian citizens living in Jammu and Kashmir are stakeholders”.

Responding to media queries, the former Intelligence Bureau chief said that his first visit was a “good experience”.

When asked whether he considered Hurriyat Conference a stakeholder in the state, he said, “All Indian citizens living in Jammu and Kashmir are stakeholders.”

His comments assume significance as the separatists rejected talks and refused to meet Sharma during his stay in Srinagar.

When asked whether he was hopeful of meeting Hurriyat during his next visit, he said, “Let us see. I am going to visit Jammu and Kashmir again and again. It was my first visit and it was very fruitful.”

He, however, didn’t respond on why Hurriyat, which doesn’t believe in the Indian constitution, was considered important.

On the last leg of his five-day visit to the state, Sharma met over 30 delegations from the civil society, including political parties like Panthers Party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and independent MLA from Udhampur, Pawan Gupta met Sharma at the government convention centre in Jammu.

He refused to share details of his meeting with governor N N Vohra and chief minister Mehbooba Mufti here on Thursday evening, saying, “Discussions with them can’t be divulged in the media.”

On Thursday, Sharma had informed Vohra about his talks with various individuals and groups in the Valley.

The governor had told Sharma that notwithstanding any initial reservations in some groups, he must sustain the dialogue and hear one and all, particularly elements of the society who apparently held contrary convictions.

He said that he was appointed by the Centre as special representative for sustained dialogue with the stakeholders aimed at restoration of peace in the state.

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association expressed regrets over the Centre’s approach towards the nationalist people of the state.

“In Kashmir, the representative decided to visit the residences of the people and in Jammu, those who were invited to meet were not even properly acknowledged and addressed. If the purpose of the current initiative taken by the Government of India is to reopen the settled issue of Jammu and Kashmir, then, please don’t expect us to be part of the said initiative,” said advocate BS Slathia, president of the association.

The association also stated that Article 35A and Article 370 were against the very spirit of the preamble of the Indian constitution and the preamble of Jammu and Kashmir constitution, and a total negation of Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution.

The association also demanded the declaration of state holiday on September 23 — the birth anniversary of last Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh.

First Published: Nov 10, 2017 20:37 IST