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Dineshwar Sharma: Talks with cross section of people in Kashmir ‘constructive’

After being rebuffed by traders’ bodies on Monday, the Centre’s interlocutor for Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma met around 32 delegations on Tuesday to prepare the ground for a multi-layered dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2017 22:47 IST
Toufiq Rashid
Toufiq Rashid
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Kashmir interlocutor,Dineshwar Sharma,Jammu and Kashmir
Former IB Director and Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma who is on a five-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir met 32 delegations in Srinagar on the second day of his visit on Tuesday.(PTI file photo)

The Centre’s interlocutor for Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma on Tuesday described his dialogue with a cross section of people in the Valley as constructive after a boycott by trade bodies on Monday.

Officials said that Sharma who arrived in Srinagar on Monday on a five-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to start a multi-layered dialogue in the state, met around 32 delegations on Tuesday.

Speaking exclusively to Hindustan Times, Sharma said his meetings so far “were good’’.

“I met a cross section of people and the meetings so far were very good. I listened to people’s grievances at length,’’ he said. “Most people in the state spoke about governance issues,” he added.

Most trade bodies boycotted their meetings with Sharma on Moday while the National Conference and Hurriyat Conference said they did not receive any invitation for talks.

Sharma said the refusal of prominent trade bodies to talk “was not a setback’’. “I am sure they will talk,’’ he said.

The interlocutor said he was scheduled to meet political parties on Wednesday but did not specify if it included separatists as well.

Read more: Mehbooba hopeful, NC says no invite for talks with J-K interlocutor, traders boycott meet

Sharma, former IB chief was given a cabinet secretary rank and appointed as interlocutor by the central government on October 23 to start a sustained dialogue with stakeholders in Kashmir.

Prominent among those who met Sharma was PDP’s youth wing leader, Waheed Parra, Democratic Party, Sanjay Saraf of the Janata Dal (United), delegations of erstwhile panchayat members, some youth associations and members of minority associations and an association of former militants.

Parra called the discussions being held by Sharma as “meaningful’’. “The centre has owned and institutionalised these talks,’’ he told the media.

Most of the delegates said the meetings were held in “healthy atmosphere’’.

“We told him that youth are the real stakeholders and they should be taken into confidence,’’ Touseef Raina of global youth foundation told reporters after the talks.

First Published: Nov 07, 2017 22:46 IST