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Kashmir Youth Still Alienated, Sports Can be Big Engagement, Believes Mediator Dineshwar Sharma

Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma met the Union Home Secretary on Tuesday. Sources said Sharma underlined the need to engage with the Kashmiri youth and suggested that sports could be a way forward to reach that goal.

Arunima | CNN-News18Arunima24

Updated:May 8, 2018, 5:46 PM IST
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Kashmir Youth Still Alienated, Sports Can be Big Engagement, Believes Mediator Dineshwar Sharma
The Bayern Munich jersey that Oliver Kahn signed for the Kashmir CRPF league. (Image: News18)
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New Delhi: Day after a 22-year-old Chennai resident was killed by stone pelters in Kashmir on Monday, the Centre’s special representative to Jammu and Kashmir, Dinesh Sharma suggested that the Kashmiri youth continues to remain alienated while stressing on the need to engage in dialogue, which he believes can be done through sports.

The Kashmir interlocutor met the Union Home Secretary on Tuesday. Sources said Sharma underlined the need to engage with the Kashmiri youth and suggested that sports could be a way forward to reach that goal.

"Kashmiri youngsters are not just taking up arms and stones as there is also a section which is cracking the civil service exams and other competitive exams and also excelling in sports. They come from the same ecosystem but their reaction is very different to that of the stone pelters and terrorists," a top home ministry official who was part of the meeting told News18.

Union government and paramilitary forces like CRPF, too, have been encouraging the young Kashmiris to take up sports like football and cricket.

In February, CRPF had sent 36 football players from the Valley on a ‘Bharat Darshan’ tour. "We believe Kashmiris are natural sports lovers and they are especially good in football," IG CRPF, Zulfiqar Haq told News18.

oliver kahn kashmir

CRPF collaborated with Spanish football league La Liga and facilitated a Spain tour for these young Kashmiris. "Legendary German footballer Oliver Kahn who used to play for Bayern Munich, has personally signed goalkeeping gloves and a jersey for the CRPF football league. It will be given to the best under-14 goal keeper this month," Haq said.

However, on the other side of it, agencies are also staring at worrying number of Kashmiri youths regularly taking up arms. Forty-five young Kashmiri men have joined militancy between January and April this year, which is a significant jump from last year’s figures.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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