Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday sought the creation of an institutional mechanism of interlocutors to talk to all stakeholders in Kashmir to carry forward former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s policy of a dialogue internally as well as with Pakistan.
Mufti, who called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and discussed the situation in the Kashmir Valley, told reporters that he was very concerned about the situation and has asked for steps to end this “bloodshed” so that the state comes out of the present turmoil.
“The Prime Minister is very concerned about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir like we all are. It is a matter of concern for everyone. The Prime Minister wants this bloodshed to end so that the state comes out of the present turmoil,” she told reporters after an hour-long meeting with Modi. This was the first meeting the chief minister had with the Prime Minister after the violence broke out in the valley on 8 July.
Pakistan fuelling ongoing Kashmir crisis: Mehbooba Mufti
Taking Pakistan head on, Mufti said “our Prime Minister took bold initiatives of inviting Nawaz Sharif for oath-taking ceremony and later flew to Lahore. This was unfortunately followed by the Pathankot terror attack.
“Lately, when the situation was bad and Pakistan was fuelling the ongoing crisis in Kashmir, our Home Minister Rajnath Singhji went to Lahore, but again, unfortunately, Pakistan let go this golden opportunity and did not extend the courtesy that needs to be given to a guest,” she said.
Observing that the basis of the PDP-BJP alliance was on the foundations of Vajpayee’s Kashmir policy and to carry forward from where it had stopped, she recalled the words of her father and former Chief Minster Mufti Mohammed Sayeed who had said that if Kashmir can be resolved, it can only be by the Prime Minister who enjoys two-thirds majority.
“If things don’t happen during his tenure, it won’t happen ever. I believe that Modiji, who took a bold step of going there, today again says we need to talk to our own people, because people are dying,” she said.
“I am sure that the Prime Minister will not forget to find a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue like the UPA did,” she said.
Begin talks with all stakeholders on Kashmir: Mehbooba Mufti
The chief minister said she told the Prime Minister to hold talks with all the stakeholders in the state and this could be possible through an institutionalised mechanism.
“Please appoint a group of individuals on whom people of Kashmir have trust, that whatever they are saying will reach to people at the helm of affairs in Delhi,” she said.
She said a peaceful resolution, as discussed with the Prime Minister, will ensure that the people in the state will live their life with dignity and peace.
Mehbooba said an all-party delegation will reach Srinagar and make efforts to reach out to the people in the state. “Similarly, I will ask Pakistan if they have some concern for the people of Kashmir they should stop supporting the people who are instigating the youth in the Valley,” she said.
She also advised Islamabad to take a leaf out if its former President Pervez Musharraf’s Kashmir policy who had opined that the UN resolution on Kashmir had no space in the present world.
Asked about talks with Hurriyat, she said a dialogue should be held with all those who want talks. But “those who are instigating the people for carrying out attacks on camps and police stations are not interested in talks,” she said. She also appealed to the separatist leaders to come and help her government in breaking “this cycle of violence” in the state.
So far 68 people have died in the protests that started from July 8 after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter on 8 July.
(With PTI inputs)