Initiate political process for peace in Kashmir: Mehbooba

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti addressing party convention in Ganderbal on Sunday. -Excelsior/Shakeel
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti addressing party convention in Ganderbal on Sunday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Stresses for talks with Pak

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Sept 9: Former Chief Minister and President of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mehbooba Mufti, today said that peace can return and ongoing security situation can be dealt only when the political process is initiated in Kashmir and stressed for talks with Pakistan. She said that the situation in Kashmir is not conducive for elections and demanded all party meeting to discuss it.
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Speaking at party workers meeting in Kangan area of Ganderbal district, the PDP president stressed for initiation of peace process for return of peace in Kashmir. “It is not about North Kashmir or South Kashmir, until a political process is not initiated to deal with the ongoing situation in Kashmir, peace will not return”, she said.
Mehbooba said that India should respond to the talks offer of Pakistan’s new Prime Minister, Imran Khan. “Unless the talks between India and Pakistan are initiated and steps like ceasefire repeated, peace will not prevail. Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan has shown keen interest in the talks, India should also extend its hand”, she added.
The PDP president said that situation in Kashmir is not conducive for holding of elections as they may incite more violence. “Situation is not conducive for the elections. During our Government, we held an All Party Meeting in this regard wherein we felt that the situation might worsen due to elections. Elections might incite violence and bloodshed”, she said.
Mehbooba said that Governor should consider overall impact of elections in the situation and call an All Party Meeting before moving ahead. “Governor should consider its overall impact on the situation before moving ahead. Governor should invite all the parties to discuss the issue”, she said.
She said that the Centre should follow the footsteps of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and initiate talks with Pakistan. “Mufti Sahib used to say that he does not want to be the Chief Minister of the State but he wants to free the people of Jammu and Kashmir from these hardships. That is why we made an alliance with the BJP at the time of late Atal Bihari Vajpayee in past and then at the time of Narendra Modi. It was our attempt to have good relations with Pakistan and talks would be resumed in Jammu and Kashmir. Our agenda is same as it was and I think Centre should also follow the Vajpayee’s footsteps: Friendship with Pakistan, initiate talks and salvage pain of people here”, she added.
On Article 35-A, Mehbooba said her party is committed for its preservation and every sacrifice would be made to protect it. “During my Government, I made every effort from engaging top notch lawyers to raising political awareness in the country and the State about the need for protection of Article 35-A and in future also whatever would be required, me and my party would do for protecting the special status of the State”, she said.
She said ever since its formation, PDP has been striving hard for realising its objectives with all seriousness. “When our party formed Government in 2002 with Congress, we laid out a schematic plan for attainment of these basic goals and bringing succour to common masses in the State. Every citizen of the State can vouch that measures, unheard of in the past, were taken which gave people enough confidence to think that things started moving on the vexed issues”, she said.
Though that momentum, the PDP president said, lost its pace after 2008, but the Party continued with its basic agenda and with people’s approval when PDP came to power again in 2015 it made its alliance partner to commit on the issues of the State through an Agenda of Alliance, a document which got recognition at the national level. She said even while sharing power with BJP, her party continued to push for its core agenda like protection of Article 370, dialogue with all stakeholders in the State and resumption of peace process between India and Pakistan.