Two prominent bodies of north Kashmir, Baramulla Traders Federation and Bar Association Baramulla, stayed away.
It was his third visit to Kashmir Valley after being appointed as the Centre’s representative for talks with various groups on Kashmir in October this year.
Given the situation in Kashmir — continuing military operations, toothless polity — Dineshwar Sharma initiative appears futile.
While Bhat has expelled his party’s representative in Pakistan Manzoor-ul-Haq from the party, a rival group has expelled Bhat from the Muslim Conference.
The Hurriyat leader said in supporting dialogue, “I probably represent the beat of each one of us in the south Asian region. I don’t want to die tomorrow in an atomic holocaust, I don’t want to burn alive with my kith and kin and the entire region. Who wants it?”
Sharma told some delegations that he is open to meeting the separatist leadership, especially Hurriyat Conference. He will visit the Valley again in the next two weeks.
BJP MLC Surinder Ambardar also called on Sharma and urged him to create an environment where “youth are comfortable expressing themselves”.
The delegation also petitioned that the abrogation of Article 370, which gives special status to the state, should be prevented at all costs and safety of Kashmiri students outside the state must be ensured
Over 2,200 migrant families are living at Talwara camp since 1996 when they were forced to flee their homes in Udhampur, Reasi, Doda, Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu region at the height of militancy.
Sharma also witnessed noisy scenes with some migrants accusing government machinery of allowing only the political delegations to have a meeting with him.
Of 740 people against whom cases have been filed, 40 are behind bars, and 20 are said to be below 18 years.
Dineshwar Sharma, who visited the Valley earlier this month, was flooded with requests from various individuals and groups for withdrawing cases against youths who were booked by the police for indulging in stone pelting.
Sources said the US diplomat was interested to “know the ground situation and viability of a reachout from Delhi, a dialogue process”.
While Hurriyat Conference has rejected the dialogue initiative, the Centre’s special representative to Jammu and Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma indicated he was optimistic about such a meeting in the future.
Most of the delegations wanted abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35 A of the Indian Constitution, permanent resident status to refugees from West Pakistan, compensation to refugees from Pakistan occupied Kashmir and deportation of Rohingya Muslims from Jammu