The dialogue initiated by Dineshwar Sharma, the Centre’s special representative in Jammu and Kashmir, on Wednesday picked up pace as he met leaders of the National Conference, CPI(M) and Congress.
Sharma called on National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in the morning, followed by a meeting with CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami and state Congress chief G A Mir.
After his meeting with Sharma, Abdullah said: “Dineshwar Sharma came and met me today. He told about the task attributed to him and asked for my opinion on how he could make his mission successful. What I told him is between us but I have given him some suggestions on how to expand the scope of his dialogue and I hope that he will implement those. Because by sitting inside a guest house and waiting for people to come, this will not work.”
Expressing hope that when Sharma’s next visit sees “more activity” in his attempts to reach out to the people, Abdullah said: “I hope the misunderstandings created by the Centre about Sharma’s mission will be addressed. His status was undermined by the PMO and the HMO (home ministry), and I hope, this will be addressed. If this is done, then I think that next time more people will meet Dineshwar Sharma. However, the responsibility lies with the Centre. As of now, the Centre has only made his job here more difficult.”
The National Conference leader met Sharma alone at the his residence since the party “did not receive any formal invitation” for talks with the Centre’s representative.
On the third day of his visit, Sharma met 15 groups, both political and non-political outfits. Emerging from his meeting with Tarigami, Sharma said: “My meetings went well. I met a lot of people. And I wish that peace returns to Kashmir soon and a political solution also comes as soon as possible.”
On meeting Hurriyat leaders in the Valley, Sharma said: “I will try my best.”
PDP vice-president Sartaj Madni, who also met Sharma on Wednesday while leading the party delegation, said: “Hope the Centre will do everything possible to gain the confidence of the people of J&K and all stakeholders in order to sustain the process of dialogue till every stakeholder is willingly engaged.”
He also expressed hope that the exercise undertaken “will culminate into meaningful and tangible outcome despite difficulties”.
State Congress chief G A Mir, whom Sharma also met, said the “Congress has always intended that dialogue is the only way to resolve issues and we met him in that light”. The party has asked Sharma to present his roadmap and his mandate.
Dineshwar Sharma will leave for Jammu on Thursday.