Mehbooba for talks with militant leadership


SRINAGAR: Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has batted for talks with militant leadership in Kashmir and said that maximum efforts should be made for saving local militants.

Mehbooba, who was in South Kashmir on Tuesday, said that at some stage talks be held with Hurriyat Conference and militants. “I believe that at some stage, talks will have to be held with Hurriyat Conference and militants as well. It is too early (for talks with militants), right now talks should be held with Pakistan and separatists. Similarly, the militant leadership has also to be talked to as it is they who have the gun and only they can end the gun culture”, she said.
The PDP president said that no battle is won by training the guns against the innocent people and instead of turning Kashmir into a theatre of war, the Government of India must initiate reconciliation with Pakistan, dialogue with Hurriyat and declare armistice on the borders.
She stated that the core agenda of her party has always been to facilitate a political process and not just to form a Government. “When for the first time PDP came to power in 2002, dialogue with the separatists was initiated. Then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee from Srinagar extended his hand of friendship to Pakistan and created history when he said that one can change friends but not neighbors. He even promised to resolve Kashmir within the ambit of humanity, opened the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote roads. There were also two rounds of dialogue between the Centre and the Hurriyat Conference and such confidence-building measures put the violence-infested Kashmir subtly back on the track,” she said.