Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday welcomed Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement that the government is ready to talk to Hurriyat Conference and also Pakistan if they are open for dialogue.
She said that a peaceful engagement is needed urgently to pull J&K out of the cycle of violence. She appealed to the Hurriyat Conference to "display maturity and show responsibility towards people”.
While speaking during a programme held in the national capital to mark four years of the Narendra Modi government, the Home Minister said, “There is no problem in any dialogue with Pakistan, it is our neighbour but Pakistan has to stop promoting terrorism first.”
He added, “If Hurriyat is ready to talk, we have no problem, we are ready to talk to anyone. Even if Pakistan comes for a dialogue, we are ready for it."
He refuted reports of confusion in the central government over its Kashmir policy. “There is no confusion about our Kashmir policy,” he said, adding that they want to end the cycle of violence.
“But we believe that Kashmir and Kashmiris both are our own. We want to win their hearts. Suspension of operations was one of the measures taken to achieve that,” he said.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in a statement described the Home Minister’s assertion as a welcome step to initiate dialogue and reconciliation in the Valley.
She said, “Given the positive outcome of the ceasefire during the month of Ramzan, the peace constituency in the country and the state should feel encouraged to start the much-needed process of peaceful engagement with all."
The Chief Minister hoped that parties and groups like the Hurriyat Conference will seize the opportunity and show their responsibility towards the people of the state.
She said that she has reiterated time and again that dialogue is the only way forward for resolving issues.
Even arch-rival nations like the US and North Korea as well as North and South Korea have ultimately taken a step forward to address their issues and concerns.
The separatist parties or their leaders have not reacted to the Home Minister’s statement, so far.
However, a senior separatist leader and former chairman of Hurriyat Conference alliance, Professor Abdul Gani Butt, while addressing a rally in Handwara area of the Valley on May 22, said that there was no alternative to dialogue to resolve the issue of Kashmir....