Editorial: New job, new approach


Srinagar: The newly appointed interlocutor appointed by New Delhi, Dinehwar Sharma has arrived in Srinagar two days back. These two days, which Sharma spend meeting people most of the time cannot be a reflection of his future discourse as far as his new job is concerned. But one can say with authority that the interlocutor has to adopt a new approach to his new job as the challenges he faces are quite enormous.

On Wednesday Dineshwar Sharma, said he was trying to meet the separatist leaders who have so far remained quite oblivious f his presence in Srinagar.

Sharma’s stint as an interlocutor even though taken with a pinch of salt in Kashmir was noted as a positive step. Most of the votaries of dialogue had for long sought a blend of military and political approach to the Kashmir imbroglio, and Sharma is being seen as a man made for the job.

Though the interlocutors approach should be that the dialogue must be as broad-based as possible, but he cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the past. The interlocutor needs to draw a line and anybody, who is a nobody in the Kashmir conundrum should not be entertained by the interlocutor, may be for just photo ops only.

The move to appoint an interlocutor should not become a headline-management exercise, but the Central and the state governments must rein in the real players to enable a genuinely conciliatory environment.

Though engaging the Hurriyat leadership would be a major hurdle for Sharma, as they have every argument and logic to stay away from the process given the past experiences and the past approach that was adopted by interlocutors and other functionaries who tried to break the logjam here.

The centre and the interlocutor should primarily accept the past failures as the Centre had miserably failed to implement the recommendations of the report submitted by three interlocutors on Kashmir — late journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and MM Ansari.

These interlocutors had asked the government to look into the need for revoking of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the Public Safety Act (PSA). However, after the 2016 agitation, many youths were booked under PSA, while the central government forces have taken recourse to AFSPA to oppose any civil trial of the force personnel involved in human rights violations.

Therefore, the approach of the new interlocutor has to be new and innovative so that it can yield some results in bringing forward the conflicting parties who believe in the resolution of Kashmir dispute through peaceful and non-violent-means.

And to achieve this roping in the Hurriyat and its allies seems to be the only option available to Sharma.

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