Mehbooba asks separatists to talk with New Delhi to end bloodshed

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SRINAGAR: Terming the Centre’s renewed offer for talks as an ‘opportunity’, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, has asked separatists to hold dialogue with New Delhi and play their part to end ‘bloodshed’ in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Given the country’s most powerful Prime Minister’s offer for renewed talks, separatists should come forward and avail this opportunity to ensure sustained peace in the state, such opportunities won’t come time and again,” said Mehbooba talking to reporters during the inaugural function of Mehjoor Nagar bridge.
She said although separatists cannot be forced for talks but hoped they will avail the opportunity to bring the state out of crises.
“This process was initiated eighteen years ago by the then Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee by announcing unilateral ceasefire on Home Minister level. Today it was started afresh by Narendra Modi led government in centre,” she added. Chief Minister said in order to stop bloodshed and to give sustained peace a chance, separatists should accept Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh’s offer for talks who is on record to say that he wants to take everyone on board.
“See education sector has suffered badly, bloodbath continues for thirty years. If we believe Jammu and Kashmir is a political issue and not about military solution, everyone including mainstream parties and separatists should think over the offer if they wish peace to prevail,” said the CM.
On being asked whether there is any plan to extend ceasefire after Eid, she said it is the Prime Minister and Home Minister to take final call on the subject.
She said the Centre’s ceasefire has a positive effect on situation as the bloodshed which has become a daily norm has stopped to a huge extent. “As far as people are concerned I think they heave a sigh of relief, daily bloodshed has stopped. Ceasefire bears good results. Given the Home Minister’s dialogue offer, I feel an environment is being created to take the political process forward,” Mehbooba asserted.