India Appoints Former Intel Chief as Emissary to Douse Separatism in Kashmir
AP Photo/ Mukhtar KhanAsia & Pacific13:00 24.10.2017Get short URL
Facing stiff resistance from the pro-separatist groups in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian government seems to have shifted gears, favoring dialogue rather than confrontation in dealing with terror elements, violence and protests in the state.
New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian government has appointed the former head of the Intelligence Bureau, Dineshwar Sharma, as its chief interlocutor for “sustained dialogue” in violence-hit Jammu and Kashmir. Sharma was the intelligence head of the country when militant leader Burhan Wani was killed in July 2016 in an encounter with security forces. It was the encounter that had stoked fresh violence in the state, which has seen no respite till date.
Soon after accepting the responsibility, Sharma stressed that the dialogue will involve all stakeholders in the troubled state. “For a substantive dialogue, I will need to talk to everybody,” Sharma said.
“I hope I will be able to live up to the trust the government of India has shown and will be able to fulfill the expectations of the people,” he added.
Although it is not clear whether there has been any commitment from the separatists to come to the negotiating table, local reports suggest that the union government has been holding informal parleys with the separatists to convince them.
This change in the policy of the union government comes in accordance with the views expressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech this year.
The Prime Minister had said, “No goli se aur na gali se, baat banegi ab gale lagane se,” which when translated in English means: “Neither bullets nor abuses will solve the problem. The only language of understanding is love and acceptance.”
Separatism in Kashmir has been simmering since India’s independence and simultaneous partition of the Indian mainland into two countries of India and Pakistan. The accession of Kashmir with India is challenged by Pakistan. Several separatist outfits have been operating from Kashmir and with terrorists operating in the region, allegedly supported by Pakistan, the problem is made acute.
Successive governments in the past have tried to find a solution through negotiations but without a lasting result.