Centre's interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma reaches Kashmir, says 'open to talk to anyone'
The Centre’s special representative for Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, has reached the Valley for a five-day visit to start a dialogue process. This is his first visit to the Kashmir valley after he was appointed the government’s Kashmir interlocutor on October 23.
Before leaving for the Valley, the former Intelligence Bureau director said that no one should jump to conclusions before the process of talks with various stakeholders in Kashmir began.
"I do not have a magic wand but my efforts have to be judged with sincerity and not through the prism of the past," Sharma, 61, said on Sunday.
"I am going there without any preconceived notions. Everyone is welcome to meet me," he added.
Speaking to WION after he was named the interlocutor, Sharma had said that he has been allowed to talk to anybody and everybody - including the Hurriyat; that Prime Minister Narendra Modi "is very much emotionally attached to Kashmir and wants to see a doable solution to the problem", and that he (Sharma) will be guided by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's philosophy of insaniyat (humanity), Kashmiriyat (the composite, secular Kashmiri culture), and jamhooriyat (democracy).
Sharma also said that he is aware that he has the toughest job in the country right now. "It is very difficult and I realise that, but I'm sure the people of Kashmir realise real harm is being caused to them by outside forces," he told WION.
Dineshwar Sharma, who has been named the government's interlocutor for Kashmir, spoke to WION about the reasons for the unrest in the strife-torn state. He said he will talk to everyone to achieve a solution to the problem (WION)
The special representative will meet political leaders, traders and other delegations, according to a list drawn up by the state government.
However, he made it clear he had his own list of people whom he would meet as well.
The National Conference, meanwhile, said that it does not have any expectations from Sharma and the only way forward in Kashmir is restoration of autonomy to the state.
"I have very little expectations from this new interlocutor. Like it has been done before, he will come and meet people. In 2010, then UPA government appointed a group of interlocutors who visited the state and had detailed discussions with every section here," National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah said on Sunday.
He added, "The process took more than two months and after they were done with meeting people, a report was compiled. What happened to that report? Did the government discuss that report in any forum including the Parliament?"
Sharma, who is originally from Bihar and was a Kerala- cadre IPS officer of the 1979 batch, held the country's top-most post for a police officer from 2014 to 2016.
He said Kashmir was his "second home" as his professional journey in the premier intelligence unit began here in 1992.
Last month, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, while announcing that Sharma would be the interlocutor for Kashmir, had referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech from the Red Fort this year.
Modi had said on August 15, "Na gaali se, na goli se, parivartan hoga gale lagaane se (Only by embracing the people, and not with abuses or bullets, can there be a change in Kashmir)."
(With inputs from agencies)