J&K interlocutor in state for talks

J&K interlocutor in state for talks

J&K interlocutor in state for talks

Two weeks after being formally appointed as the Centre's special representative for Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma arrived here on Monday on a five-day visit to resolve the protracted crisis in the Valley.

Sources said Sharma, a former Intelligence Bureau chief, will stay in the Valley for three days to start a dialogue process with various political parties, socio-cultural organisations, individuals and opinion makers.

Later, they said, Sharma will visit Jammu for two days, where he is scheduled to meet Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and various delegations.

On his arrival, the former IB chief met a 10-member delegation of the Gujjar Bakarwal community. Later in the evening, he met some political leaders, student groups and youths.

Sources said the state officials have been making repeated attempts to persuade separatist leaders- Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik - to meet the Center's interlocutor.

While separatists have publicly refused to talk to him calling his appointment a new tactic by New Delhi after it failed in its muscular approach in the troubled state, the state government is leaving no chance to take them on board, they added.

A Hurriyat spokesperson in Srinagar claimed that an official of the state government approached them for facilitating a meeting betweem Geelani and Sharma.

"A state representative, on the intervening night of November 4 and 5, expressed a desire to meet the Hurriyat chairman to facilitate his meeting with the designate interlocutor," he told reporters.

"The forced negotiations have no political or moral justifications. We reject the dialogue offer...," the spokesman added.