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Posted at: Nov 12, 2017, 1:05 AM; last updated: Nov 12, 2017, 1:05 AM (IST)

Striking regional balance a tough task for Sharma

Dinesh Manhotra

Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 11

Striking a balance among all three regions of the state — Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh — is a difficult task before Centre’s special representative on J&K Dineshwar Sharma as the stand of Jammu residents is diametrically opposite to their counterparts in the Valley.

During his two-day visit to Jammu, Sharma interacted with 34 delegations. Most of the delegations highlighted the issue of ‘discrimination’ against the Jammu region and pointed towards the “hegemony” of the Kashmir valley on the politics of the state.

Quoting Dineshwar Sharma, a member of a delegation, on condition of anonymity, said the Centre’s interlocutor had admitted that the gap between the Jammu and Kashmir regions was so wide because people of both provinces had divergent and conflicting stands on contentious issues. Striking a balance among the three regions is a rather impossible task keeping in view the socio-political wishes and aspirations of the people of the Jammu and Kashmir regions.

While as Kashmir-centric parties such as the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the National Conference demanded initiating a dialogue with the Hurriyat Conference and other separatist groups, in Jammu, delegations opposed engaging the separatists in the talks.

Similarly, there is division between the Jammu and Kashmir regions on constitutional issues like Article 35A. Delegations in the Valley defended the Article, while in Jammu, many organisations demanded that the provision of the Constitution must go to ‘ensure equality and justice’.

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