Kashmir interlocutor Sharma may meet parents of new militants who want sons to come home

Highlights

  • 1 Sharma is all set to embark a second visit to the strife-torn Kashmir Valley
  • 2 Sharma will reach South Kashmir on November 26
  • 3 His next trip will take him to North Kashmir

    Dineshwar Sharma, the Centre’s special representative in Kashmir, is keen to meet parents who’ve appealed to their newly-recruited children to leave militancy and return to the mainstream, sources say.

    The details are being worked out, but the meeting will happen only if the parents want it to, according to sources.

    Sharma is all set to embark on a second visit to the strife-torn Kashmir Valley. The interlocutor “will meet anyone who wants to address grievance(s), including parents of misguided youth or the ex-militant(s). But it will depend on their desire to meet him,” a source said.

    Sources also say Sharma is open to meeting Majid Khan – a footballer-turned-militant who recently surrendered – to understand him.

    Separatist leaders may have given Dineshwar Sharma a cold shoulder. But sources close to the ex-Intelligence Bureau chief say he will focus on youth in the militancy-hit areas of Anantnag and Pulwama.

    The interlocutor is going with an open mind to speak to youth who have led the stone-pelting movement, sources said.

    DISSUADING YOUTH FROM BECOMING MILITANTS

    Sharma will reach South Kashmir on November 26. His aims: finding the root cause of radicalisation in the Valley and dissuading youth from becoming militants.

    A suggestion of his has already been put into pratice: Cases against first-time stone-pelters have been withdrawn.

    Sources say he’s open to listening to young peoples’ grievances and making suggestions. He’s likely to engage with the Jammu and Kashmir government to to provide employment to youth in Kashmir’s tourism and horticulture sectors.

    However, a source said “there is palpable anger against the security forces,” and Sharma may face some of the brunt of it if he ventures into South Kashmir colleges.

    Sharma’s next trip will take him to North Kashmir. He will – eventually – also meet Kashmiri students studying in Delhi-NCR and neighbouring states, such as Rajasthan, Haryana, and UP.

  • via INDIA TODAY