Centre should hold talks with Pak also: Farooq Abdullah on new J-K interlocutor

Srinagar: After the appointment of former IB Chief Dineshwar Sharma as the new interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah on Monday said the Centre should talk to Pakistan also as it is one of the parties of the state.

“Kashmir issue is a political problem. It’s not only about talking to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, but they have to talk to Pakistan also as it is one of the parties of the state,” Abdullah told ANI.

“I want to ask the Home Minister about what happened to the previous interlocutors. A huge report was produced which was collected by us. I have seen what happened to the previous report. How can I believe that this report will make a difference? Nothing has worked. The demonetisation move did not work. Whatever they say, nothing will change,” he added.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti hailed the Centre’s decision to start a ‘sustained dialogue’ with people of the state.

Earlier in the day, the Centre announced plans to start a dialogue process in Jammu and Kashmir and appointed former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma as its representative for talks with “all” stakeholders in the state.

“The government has decided to start a sustained dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir. Former IB director Dineshwar Sharma will be Government of India’s representative. Rank of Dineshwar Sharma will be equivalent to that of a Cabinet Secretary,” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the media.

He added that Sharma would initiate the dialogue with elected representatives of Jammu and Kashmir, political parties, different organisations and public.

Singh said that as the government’s representative, Sharma would initiate the sustained interaction and dialogue to understand the legitimate aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. (ANI)