Approach Kashmir issue with an open mind, interlocutor Sharma tells Centre
The government’s special representative to Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, said the Centre should “strongly consider” talking to all Kashmir stakeholders to find a solution to the long-drawn crisis in the region.india Updated: Nov 15, 2017 23:45 IST
Briefing senior Union ministers and the national security adviser (NSA) of his Srinagar visit, the government’s special representative to Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, said the Centre “must continue having an open mind” while approaching the Valley issue.
The meeting was chaired by home minister Rajnath Singh and witnessed participation from defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, NSA Ajit Doval and senior officials from the two ministries.
Home ministry sources said Sharma, a former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief, told the attendees that the central government should “strongly consider” talking to all Kashmir stakeholders to find a solution to the long-drawn crisis in the region.
Ministry officials added that Sharma told the Union ministers that while he received positive response from the locals during his visit, a lot of them also expressed grievances pertaining to local governance and lack of infrastructural development.
Without naming any separatist group , a senior home ministry official told HT that Sharma expressed hope that all groups and parties in Jammu and Kashmir will eventually come to meet him when he goes there again.
Although more than 30 delegations held a dialogue with Sharma, the separatist leadership chose to not meet him when he visited Srinagar earlier this month. Kashmir’s apex trade body, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), had also decided to not hold talks with the government-appointed interlocutor. Sharma is likely to visit the state another two times before the year ends.
Sharma said he can only talk when “something concrete comes out of the talks he was holding ”.
First Published: Nov 15, 2017 23:44 IST