Srinagar: A United States diplomat visited Srinagar and met three state ministers and civil society activists less than three weeks before the Centre appointed Dineshwar Sharma an interlocutor to initiate dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir, a media report said today.
Quoting sources, Indian Express reported that the diplomat wanted “to know the ground situation and understand the feasibility of a dialogue”.
On September 27, Joshua Goldberg, political unit chief at the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs in Washington DC, visited Srinagar along with David Arulanantham, an official from the US Embassy in New Delhi.
Sources said Goldberg and David stayed for a night and met three ministers in the Mehbooba Mufti government, human rights lawyer Parvez Imroz, Khurram Parvez of Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society and two journalists.
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis had arrived in India a day earlier — the first cabinet-level visit to India under the Trump administration.
Sources said Goldberg was interested to “know the ground situation and viability of a reachout from Delhi, a dialogue process”.
“He was, in diplomatic style, enquiring about the scope for dialogue and whether Kashmiris would welcome dialogue,’’ one among those who met Goldberg told The Indian Express. “He also wanted to know the ground situation, especially after last year’s agitation and spurt in militant recruitment.”