Appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as Special Representative of the Centre is fifth major attempt by the Government of India during past about two decades to open channels of dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir to find out solution to Kashmir problem.
KC Pant, former Defence Minister and NN Vohra, presently the J&K Governor were two first Interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir, who had initiated dialogue with cross-sections of society.
The UPA-I headed by Dr Manmohan Singh had appointed five Working Groups on J&K including the one headed by former Vice President Dr Hamid Ansari, which had held exhaustive discussions and submitted their recommendations.
The UPA-II, also headed by Dr Manmohan Singh had appointed three Interlocutors including Dileep Padgaonkar, Prof Radha Kumar and MM Ansari, who had submitted their report to the Union Home Ministry.
Read also: Kashmir – A Place of Stone Pelters
During the UPA regime, a number of Round Table Conferences were also held on J&K.
However, reports of all Interlocutors and Working Groups, never saw light of the day as majority of their recommendations were not implemented.
Who is Dineshwar Sharma?
Is an IPS officer of Kerala cadre of 1979 batch who had retired as Intelligence Bureau (IB) Director last year. He was assistant Director of IB in Kashmir from 1992 to 1994. He has been conferred the rank of Cabinet Secretary as its Special Representative by Centre Government for “sustained dialogue process” in Jammu and Kashmir with all stakeholders in the State.
Lastly, talks offered so liberally provide a face saving to the separatists who are feeling humiliated and ashamed after the NIA exposed the avarice of their leaders who have amassed crores of rupees and have raised huge properties by posing as the pioneers of so-called freedom movement.
We welcome a courageous decision of the Home Ministry and we beseech all stakeholders to participate in it with full and serious responsibility and not play with the sentiments of innocent Kashmiris.