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Interlocutor for JK open to talks with Hurriyat: Official

Interlocutor for JK open to talks with Hurriyat: Official
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New Delhi: The special representative appointed for holding a sustained dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir is open for talks with the separatists and Hurriyat Conference with an effort to bring a lasting peace in the troubled state, a senior government official said.

Earlier this week, the Centre appointed former Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma as its special representative to initiate dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir.

“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.

In his visits to the state, the home minister had met several delegations from all walks of life and taken all possible measures to ameliorate their problems, the official said.

He claimed the security situation in the Valley was largely peaceful and sans any fear factor. This may help people to come out freely, the official said.

The government has very “carefully chosen” Sharma as its representative, who is “fully cognisant” of all issues related to Jammu and Kashmir, he added.

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