November 2017 News

Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma Kickstarts Dialogue In Kashmir

6 November 2017
Greater Kashmir
Umer Maqbool

Srinagar: Dineshwar Sharma, the government of India's 'special representative' for a dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir arrived in Srinagar on Monday, even as the opposition National Conference said it was still undecided on whether to meet the interlocutor or not. The Congress, on the other hand, charged the central government with 'taking a U-turn on its Kashmir policy.' On first day of his maiden visit to Kashmir after being appointed as the interlocutor, Sharma met several apolitical groups including representatives of Gujjar and Bakerwal associations, fruit growers, youth sports associations and some lesser-known non-governmental organisations at HariNiwas here. The joint separatist leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik has already rejected the initiative, calling it a 'time-buying tactic adopted under international pressure and regional compulsions. ' - ADVERTISEMENT - An official told Greater Kashmir that Sharma, a former Intelligence Bureau chief, arrived at the Srinagar airport at 11.45 am where he was received by divisional commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan, IGP Kashmir range Muneer Ahmad Khan and joint director Intelligence Bureau, Rahul Rasgotra. Later, he straightway drove to HariNiwas Palace where he met eight to 10 delegations during the day. While leaders of mainstream parties including the Congress, PDP, BJP, CPI(M), PDF and DPN are expected to meet Sharma in next two days, the principal opposition National Conference said it was yet to decide on the matter. 'We have not received any formal intimation from the interlocutor. As and when we receive it, we will consider it and decide,' NC spokesman JunaidAzamMattu told Greater Kashmir. Another major opposition party Congress asked the central government to make its roadmap for talks on Kashmir public, alleging that it had taken a U-turn on its Kashmir policy by appointing a special representative. 'For the last three years, they have been saying that there will be no talks with those who do not want to talk under the ambit of the Constitution. Today, the BJP is saying we are open to dialogue with everyone in the state. This is the U-turn they took on its Kashmir policy,' J&K Congress chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir told reporters here. He said that if the government of India was open to dialogue with 'everyone', it should come out with a roadmap on talks. 'The Congress is demanding list of stakeholders for the past 15 days but they are not disclosing it. They are doing everything behind curtains and are ashamed in taking a stand and making it public because they are afraid of getting caught by the people whom they have betrayed,' he said. A source said that CPI(M) leader Muhammad Yusuf Tarigami, DFP chief Hakim Muhammad Yaseen and DNP president Ghulam Hassan Mir are jointly meeting the interlocutor on Wednesday. 'The interlocutor would meet them at Tarigami's Gupkar residence,' the source said.