What remains to be seen is, whether he is able to convince all the stakeholders to kick-start the second round of dialogue process.
As special representative of the Union government in Jammu and Kashmir, former Intelligence Bureau Chief, Dineshwar Sharma has completed six months in office.
He was appointed by the Union Home Ministry as special representative to hold sustained dialogue process with people belonging to all shades of opinion on October 24, 2017.
During the last six months he made several rounds to both Jammu and Srinagar and also met a large number of delegations across different district headquarters but till date, he has failed to bring separatists on board to kick start the much awaited ‘stalled’ dialogue process aimed at addressing the issue of Kashmir.
Ashraf Sehrai has sent clear signals to the peacemakers that he is not keen on holding parleys without consolidating his grip.
Interestingly Dineshwar Sharma has held deliberations with several mainstream politicians and a section of moderate separatists also pledged their support but even then no significant headway has been achieved in the dialogue process on ground zero.
Now as the state government is shifting its base to Srinagar as part of biannual Durbar move focus is going to be shifted to the valley based initiatives to ensure peace returns and tourism activity peaks.
At the same time, Sharma would be facing an enormous task of convincing the hardliners in the Hurriyat conference to repose trust in him and agree to the proposal of dialogue to carry forward the sustained dialogue process.
Meanwhile, ever since Syed Ali Shah Geelani has taken a back seat the channels of communication have not been revived with the separatist camp.
Ashraf Sehrai, who replaced Geelani as the new chief of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, has already adopted a tough posture sending clear signals to the peacemakers that he is not keen on holding parleys without consolidating his grip.
In the coming days, Dineshwar Sharma would have to work hard in tandem with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to explore the possibility of reaching out to the separatist camp to initiate the dialogue process.
Instead of responding to Sharma’s feelers separatist camps outrightly rejected the idea.
At the same time, the security grid remains on its tenterhooks to ensure peaceful summer season ahead. On the other hand, hot chase adopted by the security forces and security situation along the line of control deflect the focus from peace parleys to addressing immediate security concerns.
In the wake of all these developments restoring normalcy in the Kashmir valley and containing incidents of violence, the state government would do its bit to build an atmosphere of peace to allow dialogue to take place.
Soon after his appointment, a sense of euphoria was created across the state especially in Kashmir valley as it was seen as another attempt by the Union government to engage with people belonging to different shades of opinion. After initial rounds of talks Sharma himself had proposed talks with all stakeholders but instead of responding to his feelers separatist camps outrightly rejected the idea.
As part of his reach out program he went around different districts headquarters and interacted with different representatives, trader bodies, local villagers and youth and formulated a certain set of recommendations for the state government to pay heed to.
His flexible working culture suited alliance partners as he chalked out his own course and tried his level best to bridge a widening gap between the local population and the state government machinery.
As violence peaked on different occasions and school/college going children resorted to stone pelting he suggested Mehbooba Mufti govt announce an amnesty for first time stone pelters and also recast rehabilitation cum surrender policy to make a fresh beginning.
Now it remains to be seen whether he is able to convince all the stakeholders to kick-start the second round of dialogue process or he too would fail without finding a foothold in the serene precincts of Kashmir valley.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
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