The government on Monday said it has decided to start a sustained dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir. Addressing a hurriedly-convened press conference, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said former director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) Dineshwar Sharma would be the central government’s representative to initiate dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir.
Who is Dineshwar Sharma?
Dineshwar Sharma, a 1979-batch (retired) Indian Police Service officer of Kerala cadre, served as the IB director between December 2014 and 2016. Sharma was the head of state Intelligence Bureau of Uttar Pradesh when Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was the chief minister, along with heading the “X” branch, which looks after all the vital intelligence collection in the country, including the political desk.
Originally from Bihar, Sharma never served in his home state. He did his primary education from Pali village in Bihar and later went to Gaya for his graduation. He first qualified for Indian Forest Service and later for IPS. Sharma was the third officer from Bihar after former CBI director Anil Kumar Sinha and former SPG IG Vivek Srivastava to head a central agency.
Sharma had also worked with the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval during the latter’s stint as the IB chief.
Interlocutor for a sustained dialogue in J&K
Sharma, who will be visitng the state in 8-10 days, told news agency ANI, “It’s a big responsibility, hope I live up to expectations.” The former IB chief cleared that his priority is to find a permanent solution and restore peace in J&K.
During the day, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “As a Representative of Government of India, former Director of IB, Dineshwar Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand legitimate aspirations of people in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti welcomed the initiative of the union government. “Dialogue is a necessity of the hour and the only way to go forward,” Mufti wrote on Twitter. The PDP leader on Sharma’s appointment said, “He is a very good person & has huge credibility, has been involved in dialogues in North East also.”