New Delhi, October 24: The center has appointed a new envoy to Kashmir in the hope of promoting peace in the troubled region.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh says former Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma has been designated to open talks with Kashmir’s various factions – the first such appointment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“As a representative of the government of India, … Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand legitimate aspirations of the people of Kashmir,” Singh said in New Delhi.
Kashmir has been the center of a deadly tug-of-war between India and neighboring Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. The Muslim-majority Himalayan territory is divided between the nuclear-armed rivals, but both claim Kashmir in full.
Kashmir rebels have battled Indian forces for decades, demanding either independence or a merger with Pakistan. The rebels have staged a series of attacks on Indian security bases in recent months, including an attack in southern Kashmir in August that left eight security officials dead.(VOA)