Present dialogue 'different' from earlier initiatives: JK govt

Jammu
6 Nov 2017

The dialogue process initiated by the Centre in Jammu and Kashmir is "different" from previous such initiatives as it is "institutionalised, structured and sustained", spokesman of the PDP-BJP government and minister Naeem Akhtar said here today. The Centre had last month appointed former Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma its special representative for talks with various stakeholders in Kashmir in an effort to ensure peace in the valley.
"I cannot describe the (high) level of expectation (from the dialogue process). This is a sincere effort by the prime minister. He started this process from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Independence Day," Naeem Akhtar told reporters soon after the reopening of government offices here, after the seat of power moved from Srinagar. He was replying to a volley of questions on the dialogue process, which Sharma began in Srinagar today. This "is a national commitment" made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Jammu and Kashmir minister said.
Modi had said on August 15, "Na gaali se, na goli se, parivartan hoga gale lagaane se (Only by embracing the people, and not with abuses or bullets, can there be a change in Kashmir)."  Akhtar said the process was a "follow-up" to Modi's remarks and should be seen as "a serious move" by the government. Replying to a question on the fate of reports of previous interlocutors and the "trust deficit" among the people about the present process, the minister said, "His (Sharma) mandate is sustained dialogue and it is different from the rest in the past."  "Sustained dialogue means, irrespective of what you and I say, the dialogue process will continue," he said.
"This interlocution is different. First, the President of India has appointed him. Second, he has been given position in government structure and therefore, this is structured dialogue. Third, he will carry forward a sustained dialogue. Therefore, it is an institutionalised and structured dialogue process. We know there can be problem as well," he said. Asked whether he has any message for the Joint Resistance Front comprising separatist groups including moderate and hardline factions of the Hurriyat and JKLF who have said they would not meet Sharma, Akhtar said, "I don't want to tell anybody anything. We purely hope that the effort has been made with utmost sincerity on the line of the prime minister's wish to win the hearts and minds of the people."  He said the dialogue process was a "right step in the right direction". He said that the present initiative would strengthen the Agenda of Alliance (AoA) between the PDP and the BJP. (PTI)