Kashmir Will Be Like Yemen, Syria and Libya” If Radicalisation Picks Up, Says Interlocutor Sharma
NEW DELHI : Dineshwar Sharma, the centre’s interlocutor for Kashmir who has spoken about radicalisation of the youth there as his big challenge, says he was worried that if radicalisation picks up, “the situation will be like Yemen, Syria and Libya” and “finish the Kashmir society itself”. “So, it is very important that everybody, all of us, contribute so that suffering of Kashmiris end,” Mr Sharma told news agency IANS.
“People will start fighting in so many groups,” Sharma said. “I will have to convince the youth of Kashmir that they are only ruining their future and the future of all Kashmiris in the name of whether they call it azadi [independence], Islamic caliphate or Islam.”
Sharma said his mission was to talk to anyone – from the youth to rickshaw drivers – who wants to contribute to peace in Kashmir. “Somehow the minds of youths and students have been diverted somewhere else…I have seen the violence in Kashmir from very close quarters. So the kind of violence I have seen, I am really pained. I am very sad,” he said, according to IANS.
For someone who has watched the violence in Kashmir at its peak back in the nineties, the former intelligence chief was instrumental in the central government’s assessment that has looked at the evolving situation in Kashmir from the prism of radicalisation as well. The decision to appoint Dineshwar Sharma as an interlocutor, formally called the centre’s special representative, was also taken against this backdrop by the NDA government.
Kashmir saw large-scale violence last year following the killing of terrorist Burhan Wani last year.
In a recent interview to NDTV also, Mr Sharma had kept his focus sharply on reaching out to the Kashmiri youth, blaming Pakistan for playing a major role in alienating them.
“The youth and people of Kashmir have to realise what is good for them… I will make them realise that whether they should be working at the behest of some foreign power or they should be working for their own future,” Mr Sharma had said.
The government believes creating employment for the Kashmiri youth was going to be an effort. Every fourth Kashmiri, which makes 25 per cent of the population in the 18-29 age group, is unemployed, in contrast to the corresponding national average of 13 per cent. Just how exactly he intends to reach out to the youth, Mr Sharma has told IANS, is something that he was yet to firm up.
Mr Sharma, who met Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti during her Delhi visit on Thursday, is expected to travel to Jammu and Kashmir soon.ndtv.IANS.