NEW DELHI: The Centre’s representative for Jammu and Kashmir talks, Dineshwar Sharma, will undertake a five-day visit beginning Monday to engage with various stakeholders in the state and take the dialogue forward for peace there.
Sharma will spend three days in the Valley and two days in Jammu. In Srinagar, the former Intelligence Bureau chief will hold talks with political leaders and student outfits. He is also likely to meet representatives of business forums.
In Jammu, Sharma will meet Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and delegations from Jammu and Ladakh to get an overview of the problems and possible solutions for peace.
Dubbing the dialogue initiative as a time-buying tactic, separatist groups said they won’t meet Sharma. The opposition National Conference in the state has also expressed reservations over meeting Sharma.
On how Sharma will take the dialogue forward given the separatist groups are oppeosing it, a senior Home Ministry official said the moderate faction of the Hurriyat is likely to engage with the representative.
The hardline Hurriyat faction is remotely controlled by the Pakistan Army-ISI combine and their opposition is on expected lines.
The official said the dialogue initiative should not be seen with the old narrative, and the move is part of the multi-pronged agenda to bring in lasting peace.
“Political outfits and people of the state have been demanding a dialogue process, which has begun now. The hard-line Hurriyat faction is redundant from the Centre’s standpoint as it cannot control the violence unleashed by its masters across the borders,” the official said.
Sharma is mandated to hold talks with any relevant group or individual to understand the issues and recommend measures to improve the situation on the ground. He is well versed with the situation as he had served in Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau at Srinagar and had handled the J&K desk at the covert agency’s headquarters here.