Days ahead of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, the Centre’s interlocutor for the state, has reportedly said that the level of violence has to be brought down before any political dialogue can be initiated. While speaking to leading daily, Sharma, who had persuaded the Modi government to announce the unilateral Ramadan ceasefire, asserted,”The biggest challenge in Kashmir today is to calm down the sentiments of the people, particularly youth.”
Furthermore, he stated, “It will be difficult to think about any political dialogue, any political solution until we are able to address sentiments and bring down violence. First, we need to ensure peace in the valley and only then any political dialogue can start.”
“So let us first address the sentiment, bring down tempers and then initiate any political dialogue,” he added.
Before Sharma, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had also urged the separatists to come forward for talks and save the state from bloodshed.
“The people of Kashmir and the leadership here have to decide on the opportunity provided by the Centre in terms of the unilateral ceasefire, which stopped the bloodshed here, and then the readiness for dialogue, how we benefit from it?” Mehbooba had said while addressing a convention of her Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Chief Minister had also said while she cannot force the separatists, they have to think about giving the youth in Kashmir a way out of the stone and gun culture. “We cannot force you or give you a dictation, but can only request. Even a day before yesterday (Friday) a youth got killed after he came under a vehicle during stone-pelting. He was an orphan but why take to stone-pelting? Why not give them a way out from this morass, from stone or gun culture?” she said. The Chief Minister had also advocated talks between India and Pakistan.