‘GoI’s representative open to talks with Hurriyat’

New Delhi: Dineshwar Sharma, the representative of the Government of India is open for talks with the Hurriyat Conference to bring lasting peace in Kashmir, a senior government official has said, reported the Press Trust of India.

Sharma, the former Intelligence Bureau chief was appointed as the special representative of the GoI, earlier this week when Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in a press conference announced sustained dialogue to solve the Kashmir issue.

“While insinuations have been made to the effect that the central government was not willing to engage with so-called real stakeholders (read separatists), it is factually incorrect,” the official said on the condition of anonymity.

The central government has been maintaining that it was willing to talk to everybody provided the other side also exhibited willingness and came forward for talks.

This was reiterated recently by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to various delegations, that came to meet him, when he visited Jammu and Kashmir last month.

The official also pointed at unsuccessful attempts of an all-party delegation, which visited the state last year, to meet Hurriyat (G) leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

The leader had refused to open doors to the members of the delegation.

At that time, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had also written to Geelani in her capacity as the president of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, to come forward and talk to the delegation, which was refused, the official said.

The Centre’s initiative to appoint Dineshwar Sharma as special representative for a sustained dialogue in the state is a continuation of the NDA dispensation’s efforts to talk to all shades of opinion in the state, elicit their views and do everything possible for peace in the state and betterment of the people’s life there, he said.

The official also stressed that Sharma has been ‘very carefully chosen’ and he is ‘fully cognisant’ of the issues related to Jammu and Kashmir.

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