Sharma “Very Positive” About Holding Talks With Hurriyat

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New Delhi—A day after Joint Resistance Leaders (JRL) in Kashmir announced their denial to hold any parleys with the Delhi-appointed interlocutor for Kashmir talks with “whosoever”, Dineshwar Sharma said he was “very positive” about the talks with the Hurriyat and assured peace in Kashmir valley soon.

The interlocutor’s statement came just after the separatists’ remarks that his appointment is just to buy time and no dialogue is possible unless the Centre accepts the Kashmir dispute as a political issue.

“I’m still very positive about the talks and I’m sure peace will return to Kashmir valley soon,” Sharma told ANI on Wednesday evening. “As far as comments are concerned, I would not like to make any comments on whatever has been met.”

After his appointment, Sharma had told reporters he would get a positive response from the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “I will meet everyone and even Hurriyat leaders. My doors are open to everyone,” he had said.

Sharma’s fresh statement came under the backdrop of the Centre according him ‘Z’ category armed security cover on Wednesday.

Sharma would be secured by commandos of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) whenever he travels to any part of the country.

“Given his work profile, it was essential to provide the special representative a personal security cover. He will have about six to eight commandos with him at any given time,” a senior official said.

The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), a conglomerate of senior separatist leaders, has rejected any possibility of engaging in parleys with former with Sharma.

After appointing Sharma as the interlocutor, Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, had said he would speak to “all stakeholders”, as well as decide on whether to talk to the Hurriyat Conference.

“As a representative of the Government of India, Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand legitimate aspirations of people in Jammu and Kashmir,” Singh had said.

The State government led by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had welcomed Sharma’s appointment, observing that dialogue was the only way forward to address the Kashmir issue in the larger interest of peace and stability in the state while the state unit of the BJP asked all stakeholders to “give peace a chance”.

The central government had recently notified the appointment of Sharma, former director of the Intelligence Bureau, as its interlocutor for the sustained dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir.

Sharma, an old Kashmir hand in the country’s internal intelligence agency, enjoys the rank and status of a cabinet secretary.

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