Interlocutor offers olive branch


Srinagar: The new interlocutor appointed by the Union government to initiate talks for the resolution of Kashmir issue, Dineshwar Sharma today said that separatist groups in the valley are the stake holders in peace talks.

“I have continuously been maintaining that all Indians living in Kashmir are stakeholders. They all have a stake in peace in Kashmir. So, Hurriyat automatically comes in that,” Sharma said during a talk show with a senior journalist.

He said that the talks with the Hurriyat group will depend on the situation there (Kashmir) and the response from them.

“But it will be (whether I will talk to them or not) dependent on the situation there and the response from them. Let me go there first,” he said.

Sharma further said that he has not been given any specific frame work to talk and has been given a freehand to talk to anybody.

“I have not been given any mandate (to set the framework). I have been totally open-minded. Anybody I can talk to or anything I can suggest. No boundaries, no limitation,” he said.

Sharma, a former director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), was appointed by the central government as its representative yesterday to initiate a dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir.

The retired 1979-batch officer of the Indian Police Service was the IB director from December, 2014, to December, 2016.

Earlier, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also hinted that the newly-appointed interlocutor would decide whom he engaged with in the state. He said that he will be deciding whom to engage with.

“It depends upon him whom he talks to or engages with,” Singh said.

Notably, Sharma will be arriving in Kashmir Valley next week.

“I will be in Kashmir next week. I am hopeful. I will meet everyone and even Hurriyat leaders. My doors are open to everyone,” he said.

Responding to a question, Sharma said that he will interact with everyone. “Let us hope for the best. I am hopeful I will deliver,” he said.



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