NEW DELHI: Amids tense situation at the border with Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) chief minister Mehbooba Mufti advocated dialogue with the neighbouring country as the only way to resolve differences. “We fought and won all wars against Pakistan but even now there is no solution other than dialogue, till when will our jawans and civilians keep dying,” Mufti said in the J&K assembly on Monday.
“Dialogue with Pakistan is necessary if we are to end bloodshed… We have to talk because war is not an option,” she said in a tweet later.
She also called out news media for attacking all and sundry who bat for talks with Islamabad. “Unfortunately, some media houses have created an atmosphere that if we talk of dialogue (with Pakistan) then we are labeled anti-national,” she said.
“Wonder what some media houses would have called Atalji if he took bus to Lahore in today’s time and talked of dialogue,” Mufti remarked while harking back to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s historic visit to Pakistan in 1999, when he traveled on the Delhi-Lahore bus.
The chief minister’s appeal for dialogue comes as the restive state reels from a Sunjuwan attack: Five Army soldiers martyred, operation underway” , which left five soldiers and a civilian dead and 10 others wounded. Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba claimed responsibility for the attack, and also for the attempted infiltration of the Karan Nagar CRPF camp, where one jawan lost his life in a gunbattle with the ultras.
Mehbooba Mufti on Monday took a bold step and stressed the need for Pak-India bilateral talks on Kashmir. She took to Twitter to voice her heart and wrote, “Dialogue with Pakistan is necessary if we are to end the bloodshed.”
Mufti, in the same tweet, expressed her fears of a backlash from Indian media but also showed her resolve to stand by what she believes to be right. “I know I will be labelled anti-national by news anchors tonight but that doesn’t matter.”
She said the people of Jammu and Kashmir are suffering. Mehbooba Mufti expressed these views in the wake of an attack on an army base in IHK that killed nine, including five soldiers and a civilian. Three alleged militants were also killed in the attack.