Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Monday announced start of a sustained and structured dialogue with all shades of opinion in Jammu and Kashmir, naming former Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma as the Centre’s representative for the job.
The major announcement — made by Singh at a press conference here — comes a little over two months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of Red Fort, declared that the solution to J&K’s problems had to be found by hugging its people and not through bullets or abuse, reports Times of India.
The Centre’s choice to lead the sustained and structured dialogue with all willing individuals and groups in J&K — Dineshwar Sharma — is no stranger to Kashmir. He was posted in Kashmir in early 1992, when militancy there was at its peak. Thereafter, he handled Kashmir issue from IB headquarters in Delhi, including as director of IB Later, Dineshwar Sharma told Hindustan Times,
“For a substantive dialogue, I will need to talk to everybody.’’
Sharma was called in for a meeting with national security advisor Ajit Doval and the home minister a few hours before the formal announcement, top sources revealed.
Sharma did not want to answer questions on whether he would engage with separatists belonging to the Hurriyat Conference but emphasised that he would speak “to all stakeholders”.
“Peace must be restored in Kashmir and for that I will talk to all people in an effort to bring about a solution,’’ he said. The newly-appointed interlocutor said he will make his first visit to the strife-torn Valley within “eight-10 days” but multiple government sources confirmed that a lot of homework has already been done.