Former Intelligence Bureau Director Dineshwar Sharma, who was appointed the special representative for the government’s “sustained dialogue” process with Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, said he wanted to talk to everyone “interested in bringing permanent peace in the Valley,” PTI reported.

“Let me make it clear that peace is the priority and for that my doors will be open to everyone,” Sharma said after his appointment. Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech, Sharma said, “... We have to work towards the goal set by the prime minister and embrace Kashmiris, and ensure lasting peace is achieved.” He is likely to visit the state in the next 10 days.

On Monday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced the Centre had decided to start the dialogue process with the state, which has been on edge since Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter in July 2016. Sharma was called for a meeting with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the home minister just hours before the announcement, according to the Hindustan Times.

Sharma is an officer from the 1979 Indian Police Service batch. He has earlier been appointed interlocutor for talks with rebel groups in Manipur and Assam.