SRINAGAR: The central government’s interlocutor on Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, arrived here on five-day “Mission Kashmir” on Monday and interacted with the representatives of apolitical organisations.
Sharma, the former IB director, arrived here this afternoon and straightaway drove to Hari Niwas after landing in Srinagar airport amid tight security.
63-year-old Sharma will stay for three days in Srinagar and two days in Jammu, the winter capital of the State.
He has said he will extend his stay in the state if more people and delegations come to meet him.
On his first day, at least 56 people including 13 delegations and individuals were supposed to meet Sharma.
All the groups were apolitical.
Gujjar and Bakerwal Conference leader, Mohammad Yaseen Poswal led 10-member delegation of the nomadic organisations for talks with Sharma.
“We told him that the issue should be resolved by talks and dialogue should be held with all stakeholders including the separatist leaders. We also demanded release of separatist leaders and youth languishing in different jails,” Poswal told New Indian Express.
He said they also told Sharma that peace can be only restored by holding unconditional dialogue with the separatists.
Poswal said Sharma gave a patient hearing to them quoted him as saying “hum har kisi ke darwaze pe jayenge” (we would knock the door of every stakeholder).
He said Sharma also said that they want an end to bloodshed in Jammu and Kashmir and restoration of peace and tranquillity in the State.
Some student groups and youth also met him and apprised him about their grievances.
Many delegations including All J&K Taxi Shikara Association, Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee and Fruit and Saffron Growers Association, which were supposed to meet him today, could not meet him.
Fruit and Saffron Growers Association president Mohammad Yousuf Dar said they were invited for talks but decided against meeting him as “we felt it was a futile exercise”.
Source said the interlocutor would be meeting some political leaders at their residences.
“Sharma would be meeting CPI (M) State secretary and MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, People’s Democratic Front (PDF) chief and MLA Hakeem Yasin and former minister Ghulam Hassan Mir at Tarigami’s residence in Srinagar on November 8,” they said.
Sources said at least 60 delegations are scheduled to meet interlocutor during his three-day stay in Srinagar.
Meanwhile, trade bodies of Kashmir -- Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Houseboat Owners Association of Kashmir (HBOAK) and Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Owners’ Federation (KHAROF) have decided not to meet the interlocutor despite receiving invitation for the meetings.
The separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik have already refused to meet Sharma saying appointment of interlocutor is nothing but a “time buying tactic” by New Delhi.
Senior PDP leader and Works Minister Naeem Akhtar told reporters in Jammu today that they are hopeful about that dialogue with interlocutor would be fruitful despite boycott by Hurriyat leaders.
Opposition National Conference and Congress are not optimistic about interlocutor’s “Mission Kashmir”.
NC president and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has said his party has no expectation with Sharma’s visit to the State.
The State Congress chief G A Mir asked the central government to make its road map for talks with various stakeholders public.
“Let them make the list of stakeholders public,” he has said.