The Centre’s special representative for a sustainable dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma, who undertook a five-day visit to the state, briefed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday on the first round of talks he had with various sections of the society there last week.
Sharma 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.
Sources said Sharma also highlighted the role of the media and its impact on the narrative in Kashmir.
Sharma was tight-lipped when the media asked him about his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir and on the review meeting. He said he would go to Jammu and Kashmir soon to continue his mission of holding a sustained dialogue process.
An old Kashmir hand, Sharma, who had served in the state with the Intelligence Bureau from 1992-94 when militancy was at its peak, kickstarted his exercise in Srinagar by talking to representatives of about half-a-dozen apolitical organisations and others and later for two days in Jammu.
Sharma, who has the rank of Cabinet Secretary, called on former Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and held discussions with him.