Appointed as an interlocutor to begin a sustained dialogue in Jammu & Kashmir, former Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma on Monday said that his priority is to restore peace and find a permanent solution in Kashmir. “It’s like homecoming for me. I am sure that I will be able to fulfill the expectations of the government and people of the country,” said Sharma. He cleared his vision for the dialogue and said, “Let me make it clear that peace is the priority and for that my doors will be open to everyone.”
The announcement by the government has been received well in political corners, especially in Jammu Kashmir with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti hailing the decision. “Dialogue is a necessity of the hour and the only way to go forward,” she said. She added, “He is a very good person and has huge credibility, he has been involved in dialogues in North East also.” Hoping to achieve peace through the dialogue, Mufti added, “People are caught between so many guns right now & they want to come out of. It is a good initiative & should be a success.”
Read | Who is Dineshwar Sharma?
Meanwhile, former J&K CM Omar Abdullah said, “The acceptance of the political nature of the Kashmir issue is a resounding defeat of those who could only see use of force as a solution.” However, National Conference Chairman, Farooq Abdullah demands inclusion of Pakistan as well in the dialogue process. Farooq said, “It’s a political problem, it’s not only talking to people of J&K, Ladakh they have to talk to Pakistan also.”
Union Minister Jitendra Singh heaped praises on the government and said, “The dialogue process was always continuing (in J&K). But now attempts have been made to institutionalise the process by appointing a senior officer for a sustained dialogue with all stakeholders in all three regions — Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir, and the rest of India,”
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, who was home minister in the UPA government and had formed a three-member committee of interlocutors for a dialogue on Kashmir, said that by announcing a peace initiative in Jammu and Kashmir, the government was finally admitting that its “muscular approach” to the Valley’s problems had failed.
(With inputs from PTI)