New Delhi: Dineshwar Sharma, the Centre’s interlocutor for talks with different groups in Jammu and Kashmir, will also interact with hardline separatists in the Hurriyat.
Top government sources confirmed to this newspaper that Mr Sharma, former director of the Intelligence Bureau, is also likely to extend a formal invitation for dialogue to Hurriyat leaders once the talks process is initiated.
On Wednesday, home minister Rajnath Singh, while announcing the appointment of Mr Sharma as the Centre’s representatives for talks, had said that the interlocutor would decide which factions or groups to hold talks with.
Mr Sharma, who has been mandated to carry forward a “sustained dialogue” with all stakeholders in J&K, is considered a veteran on Kashmir affairs in the security establishment. For this assignment, Mr Sharma will hold the rank of a Cabinet secretary.
Sources also confirmed that in case the Hurriyat leaders, particularly the hardline faction, reject his invite to talk, the possibility of a back channel dialogue cannot be ruled out.