Jammu and Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma to visit ground zero of unrest, migrant camps

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KASHMIR: The Centre’s special representative for a sustainable dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma will begin his second tour of the state during which he will visit migrant camps in Jammu as well as epicentres of unrest in the Valley.

An old Kashmir hand, Sharma, who had served in the state with the Intelligence Bureau from 1992-94 when militancy was at its peak, will be in the state for four days, spending two days in Jammu before going to Kashmir.

Sharma who was appointed the Centre’s interlocutor on October 23 to hold talks with all stakeholders in an effort to find lasting peace, will visit camps of migrants from Kashmir as well as those displaced from border villages following shelling from Pakistan. In Kashmir, he will visit the “ground zero” of unrest in south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Anantnag districts, officials said.

The high point of his visit, officials said, will be his interactions with youths and students in Pulwama and Anantnag.

The districts were the epicentres of unrest following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen’s poster boy Burhan Wani on July 8 last year.

On November 15, Dineshwar Sharma, who earlier undertook a five-day visit to the state, briefed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the first round of talks he had with various sections of the society there last week.

Sharma had made his presentation at a core group meeting, chaired by Rajnath Singh for a security review of Jammu and Kashmir. It was attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and top brass of Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing, National Investigation Agency and para-military forces.

In the meeting, Sharma informed the Home Minister about the response that he got during his meetings with different sections of society, including political parties, student organisations, and social and religious groups in Jammu and Kashmir as well as those from the Jammu Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Jammu Bar Association, representatives of West Pakistan refugees and others. The former spy chief also shared the major concerns voiced by those he had met during the visit.

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