Amid a separatist boycott, former spy chiefDineshwar Sharma, the centre’s interlocutor, kickstarted Kashmir talks on Monday. He met representatives of about half-a-dozen apolitical organizations at Srinagar.
Informed sources said those who met Sharma included representatives of tribal Gujjars and Bakerwalorganisations, tour and travel operators, shikara owners, fruit and saffron growers and artisans.
The sources said the delegation members highlighted their problems during their meeting with Sharma who listened to them “patiently”.
No representative of any political party called on him on the first day of his five-day stay in the state to start the multi-layered dialogue process.
The opposition National Conference said they were yet to receive any invitation from Sharma.
He is scheduled to stay in the valley for three days to meet political parties, socio-cultural organisations, individuals and opinion makers before moving to Jammu.
Separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yaseen Malik have jointly declined to meet the interlocutor, calling his appointment a time-buying tactic “adopted under international pressure and regional compulsions”.