It is good start, necessity of hour: Mehbooba on dialogue with Kashmiris

ANI | Updated: Oct 23, 2017 20:56 IST

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], October 23 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday welcomed the appointment of former Intelligence Bureau (IB) director Dineshwar Sharma as interlocutor for the valley and added that the move was the necessity of the hour.

"It is a good start and a necessity of the time. I welcome this step taken by the Centre. Sharma is a very good person and has a huge credibility. He has been involved in dialogues in the North East as well," Mehbooba said, while addressing a press conference here.

She added that it was a good initiative and should be a success.

"People are caught between so much violence these days and they want to come out of it. There are no conditions from both the sides, therefore, I hope the stakeholders from the state utilise this opportunity and contribute in the dialogue process," the Chief Minister asserted.

Earlier in the day, the Centre announced plans to start a dialogue process in Jammu and Kashmir and appointed former IB chief Dineshwar Sharma as its representative for talks with "all" stakeholders in the state.

"The government has decided to start a sustained dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir. Former IB director Dineshwar Sharma will be Government of India's representative. Rank of Dineshwar Sharma will be equivalent to that of a Cabinet Secretary," Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the media.

He added that Sharma would initiate the dialogue with elected representatives of Jammu and Kashmir, political parties, different organisations and public.

Singh said that as the government's representative, Sharma would initiate the sustained interaction and dialogue to understand the legitimate aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. (ANI)