Srinagar: Hitting out at the Minister of State (MoS) in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) over his comment that Dineshwar Sharma is not an interlocutor, but a designated spokesperson of the centre, former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Friday said this is how Jitendra Singh is describing the role of the former IB chief.
Mr Sharma was recently appointed by the centre as an interlocutor to hold talks with all stakeholders in the state for resolution to Kashmir issue.
“He’s not an interlocutor, he’s a designated spokesperson. This is the MoS in the PMO describing the role of Dineshwar Sharma,” Mr Abdullah, who is the working president of National Conference (NC), wrote on micro-blogging site twitter.
Mr Singh while addressing a rally in Jammu on Thursday said that Mr Sharma was not an interlocutor, but a designated spokesperson of the centre. “He is not an interlocutor. Where does it say interlocutor? In which order… The center has appointed an officer, like we have Brigadier Anil Gupta as the designated spokesperson of the state BJP. What he speaks will be taken as the party stand. That’s it,” the MoS in POM had said.
The statement by Mr Singh comes just days after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh after announcing the name of Mr Sharma as a representative for talks, had said that the former IB chief will have full freedom to engage in talks with anyone he likes.
Center’s decision to appoint an interlocutor was welcomed by all sections of the society in the valley, including Chief Minsiter Mehbooba Mufti and Mr Abdullah.
“Welcome the initiative of Union Government, appointing an interlocutor for leading a sustained dialogue with stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir,” Ms Mehbooba had said, adding talks were a necessity of the hour and the only way to go forward.
“This dialogue initiative is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s August 15 speech ‘na goli se, na gaali se, Kashmir ki samasya suljhegi gale lagaane se’,” she had said.