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PDP hopeful of ‘breakthrough’ as interlocutor Sharma concludes Kashmir visit

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The party says steps initiated by the Centre are in line with PM Modi’s I-Day speech that Kashmir problem can be resolved through dialogue.

New Delhi: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is running a coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir with the BJP, said it is hopeful that new interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma will be able to make some “breakthrough” even as the latter concluded his three-day visit to Kashmir Thursday.

Other mainstream political parties in the Valley have said that the NDA government at the Centre will have to prove its seriousness in taking forward the dialogue process in Kashmir through Sharma.

PDP has termed Sharma’s visit as the “most serious effort ever by New Delhi”. “We are hopeful about a breakthrough. We see it as the most serious effort made ever by New Delhi,” senior PDP leader and PWD minister Naeem Akhtar told ThePrint.

Sharma reached the winter capital of Jammu Thursday for a two-day visit where he is likely to meet chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and governor N.N. Vohra.

After a meeting with Sharma, CPI (M) leader M.Y. Tarigami said: “Since his appointment, certain voices have suggested that this is a non-serious exercise. We told him that this attitude lowers his credibility, and the government must ensure that this dialogue is serious and sustained.”

Calling PM Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech in which he said “embracing all Kashmiris” can resolve the problem in the Valley quite reassuring, Akhtar said that this time, the dialogue has begun on a serious note.

“Previously, whatever was done, it was only to manage anger. People were sent to douse the fire and prepare reports. It was just anger management. What we can see now is a solemn pursuit, made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a solemn occasion and at a solemn place — the Red Fort,” Akhtar added.

“This was an acknowledgement of the fact that there will be no use of bullet or violent force. It is only through the method of talking and dialogue that the Kashmir problem would be resolved.”

Akhtar said Sharma’s mandate is to ensure a sustained dialogue. “For the first time, there will be an institutionalised dialogue. It is an important process and result will depend on many factors. We look at it with a lot of hope,” Akhtar said.

Former CM and working president of National Conference, Omar Abdullah, had said that the Centre’s representative needs to be more active in his approach. Abdullah, who met Sharma Wednesday, said that they had discussed the “prevailing situation in the state and also made suggestions for steps that can be taken to make his visits to the state more meaningful”.

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