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Dineshwar Sharma lands in Kashmir today to meet stakeholders

In October, Dineshwar Sharma was appointed interlocuter for Jammu and Kashmir by the Centre.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2017 07:39 IST
Rajesh Ahuja
Rajesh Ahuja
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Dineshwar Sharma,Kashmir Interlocuter,Jammu and Kashmir
Former IB Director Dineshwar Sharma during the 28th Intelligence Bureau Centenary Endowment Lecture in New Delhi in 2015. (PTI File Photo)

Former Intelligence Bureau (IB) director Dineshwar Sharma, the Union government’s newly appointed interlocutor for Jammu & Kashmir, will land in Srinagar on Monday to set up a grievance redress mechanism in a bid to initiate a dialogue with “all stakeholders” in the state.

Sharma, who will spend four days in Srinagar and two in Jammu, is likely to meet about three dozen groups and individuals – including student leaders -- during the week, government officials said.

The issues he will address could range from alleged harassment by security forces to civic issues such as inadequate power supply and poor healthcare facilities, the officials added.

“A quick solution to a grievance may enhance the credibility of the initiative to appoint Sharma,” said a senior official involved in finalizing Sharma’s agenda on his first trip to the state after being appointed as the federal government’s representative on October 24.

“Among the issues that come up could be an electricity-related problem or the lack of medical facilities in an area. Since Sharma’s job is to initiate and carry forward a dialogue with elected representatives, organisations and concerned citizens, addressing grievances is an important part of the initiative,” added the official, who asked not to be named.

The final structure of the actual redress mechanism will emerge only after Sharma discusses the issue with all stakeholders in Srinagar. Officials say it could be a committee consisting of senior security officials to address issues related to security forces, or a team of civic officials to deal with administrative concerns.

It is not clear if Sharma will meet with members of the hardline separatist group Hurriyat Conference. Soon after his appointment, Sharma had told Hindustan Times that for a “substantive dialogue, I will speak to everybody”, but did not mention the Hurriyat by name.

Communist Party (Marxist) leader Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami, a member of the J&K assembly from Kulgam, urged Sharma to hear all voices of dissent in Kashmir. “It would be prudent for the government to have an institutional mechanism for a sustained dialogue,” he added.

Sharma’s appointment is the latest in a series of efforts to end an insurgency that has killed more than 40,000 people since violence broke out in 1989. Past efforts at finding a peaceful solution through dialogue , by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 2004 and the Manmohan Singh government in 2010 have achieved little.

First Published: Nov 06, 2017 07:36 IST