Former IB chief formally appointed as Indian govt’s ‘representative’ for J&K

The Government of India has formally notified the appointment of former Director of the Intelligence Bureau Dineshwar Sharma as its “representative” for Jammu and Kashmir.

Sharma, an old Kashmir hand in the country’s internal intelligence agency, will, as the “representative” of the government of India “initiate and carry forward a dialogue with elected representatives, various organisations and concerned individuals in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.”

The appointment will be effective from the date Sharma joins till further order. The detailed terms and conditions of the appointment will be issued separately, the order says.

It also says Sharma will enjoy the rank and status of a Cabinet Secretary.

On Monday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had announced the appointment of Sharma as the government’s representative for carrying forward a “sustained dialogue” with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir, in order to understand the “legitimate aspirations” of people.

Singh had said that Sharma would have complete independence in deciding who to hold talks with. He said this in response to a question on whether Sharma would hold talks with the Hurriyat Conference.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had  welcomed the appointment while National Conference leader Omar Abdullah sought clarity on Sharma’s mandate. PDP’s alliance partner in Jammu and Kashmir and the state unit of the BJP had said the party will not accept demands “beyond” Indian Constitution or have the “attribute of secession.”

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