New Delhi: Three weeks after his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir as the government interlocutor, Dineshwar Sharma made his way to the valley for the second time on Friday. In the second round of talks, senior government officials stated that Sharma would be reaching out to the youth, those impacted by militancy as well as various other political groups.
As part of the four-day visit, Sharma made his way to the Talwara camp over Saturday and Sunday where over 2,200 migrant families have been living since 1996, when they were forced to flee their homes in Udhampur, Reasi, Doda, Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu region at the height of Kashmir militancy.
“Efforts have been made by Sharma to reach out to different stakeholders this time as well. We will work in a coordinated manner to ensure that peace is restored in the valley," said a senior central government official, requesting anonymity.
Sharma also spoke to Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti, on Friday, to brief her about his second visit to the state.
On 6 November, when Sharma embarked on his first visit to the state as the interlocutor, Mufti had reached out all stakeholders to ensure that the dialogue process was kept on track.
While the Hurriyat Conference and other separatist leaders are yet to participate in the dialogue process, despite Sharma’s assurances during his previous visit that he would try and reach out to the separatists, defence experts stated that the possibility of talks with the less hardline separatists must not be ruled out just yet.
“Dineshwar Sharma must meet everyone who wishes to meet him. He must also gauge carefully the sentiment of the people. As a former member of the IB (Intelligence Bureau), he has sufficient experience to deal with the people of Kashmir. Once the dialogue process concludes, the Prime Minister must make a concrete offer to the people," said Gurmeet Kanwal, defence analyst at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), a Delhi-based think tank.