In a fresh move for peace in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), the Centre on Monday announced a “sustained dialogue” process with all stakeholders in the Valley and appointed a former Intelligence Bureau director as its special representative.
Dineshwar Sharma would hold talks with all sections of people and organisations, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh
said. The home minister said Sharma, who would hold the rank of a Cabinet secretary, would have complete independence in deciding who to hold talks with. He was replying to a question on whether Sharma would hold discussions with the Hurriyat Conference.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister (CM) Mehbooba Mufti and National
Conference chief Omar Abdullah welcomed the initiative. The CM said the peace initiative was in line with the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said he hoped the central government, by announcing a peace initiative in Jammu and Kashmir, was finally admitting that its “muscular approach” to the Valley's problems had failed. “With appointment of interlocutor, I hope government has finally admitted ‘muscular approach’ has failed in J&K,” Chidambaram tweeted.
Congress leader Manish Tewari said the appointment of interlocutor is indicative that realists in the government have prevailed over the hawks. “Hard power is not an end but means towards an end,” Tewari tweeted. National
Conference leader Abdullah sought to know the implications of the move on the NIA’s investigations into the terror funding cases in the Valley.