India's newly appointed representative to visit Kashmir to restart negotiation process

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-06 12:27:16|Editor: Song Lifang
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NEW DELHI, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- Indian government's newly appointed representative for restive India-controlled Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma will start his visit to the region on Monday, government officials said.

Sharma is expected to hold talks with Kashmir's political leaders, business communities and civil society groups, in a bid to restart the negotiation process.

"The effort will be to work towards ensuring permanent peace in the state," Sharma told reporters here on Sunday.

Sharma, a former intelligence chief, was appointed by the federal government last month to begin a "sustained" dialogue process in Kashmir.

The region's separatists groups have already rejected meeting with Sharma describing his appointment a "time-buying tactic" adopted under "international pressure and regional compulsions."

Analysts say this is the first initiative by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reach out to Kashmiris especially after the last year's conflict.

A separatist movement and guerrilla war challenging New Delhi's rule has been going on in India-controlled Kashmir region since 1989. Gunfights between militants and Indian troops take place intermittently across the region.

Kashmir, a Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan, is claimed by both in full. Since their independence from Britain, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.