Former IB Chief To Initiate Dialogue In Jammu and Kashmir
NEW DELHI: Former Intelligence Bureau Chief Dineshwar Sharma will be the Centre’s Special Representative for initiating sustained dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The government has decided to hold a sustained dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir. As a former IB chief, Mr. Sharma is well versed with the State and he will hold talks with elected representatives, political parties, and different organizations and understand their aspirations,’’ Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced at a hurriedly called press conference here on Monday.
The Home Minister said the government has not set any time frame for Mr. Sharma to submit his report. “He may take three, six or eight months. The government is not putting any condition on him,’’ Mr. Singh said while replying to a query if separatists and their organizations like Hurriyat Conference would be invited for dialogue with the Centre’s interlocutor on J&K.
Mr. Singh said that he had visited the border State last month and as many as 87 delegations had met him. “The government’s policy and intention is clear. We want a solution to the problem,’’ he said.
The Home Minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given an indication in his Independence Day address from the ramparts of the Red Fort when he had declared that it was time for embracing the people of Kashmir as the solution would not be found either through bullets or abuses.
Pointing out that the government’s Special Representative would focus mainly on initiating a dialogue with the youth to understand their aspirations, Mr. Singh said that the effort would be to talk to all sections of the people in J&K.
Mr. Sharma belongs to Kerala cadre of the 1979 batch of the IPS and retired as Director of the Intelligence Bureau on December 31 last year after serving a two-year tenure. He has also been an interlocutor of the government in talking to various groups in the North-East and with the latest appointment, he would fully devote his energies to the new assignment in J&K. He will enjoy the status of Cabinet Secretary.
The UPA Government had also appointed a team of interlocutors on J&K, headed by former veteran journalist and editor Dileep Padgaonkar, who had submitted its report to the then Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram but its recommendations remained in the government files.
Earlier, the Vajpayee government had also appointed the then Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson K C Pant as its interlocutor on J&K but its report was also confined to the archives of the government
In his tweet, former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said: “Centre announces an interlocutor to engage with stake holders in J&K. Will keep an open mind & wait to see results of the dialogue process.’’