Kashmir needs a political solution; BJP must follow Vajpayee’s legacy at any cost: Mehbooba Mufti

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New Delhi | Published: August 25, 2018 11:04:42 AM

PDP chief and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has asked the BJP government to initiate talks with Pakistan and normalise ties to bring lasting peace in the Valley.

Mehbooba Mufti, Kashmir, PDP, BJP, Pakistan, Imran Khan, Atal Bihari VajpayeeKashmir needs a political solution; BJP must follow Vajpayee’s legacy at any cost: Mehbooba Mufti

PDP chief and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has asked the BJP government to initiate talks with Pakistan and normalise ties to bring lasting peace in the Valley. Speaking to news channel Aaj Tak, Mufti asked when dialogues can be held with Pervez Musharraf, an army man, why not with elected Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Mufti said that the problem of Kashmir is a political and it did not matter if it was ruled by Governors or otherwise. Mufti said that she has been persistently telling the BJP that there was a need for a dialogue with Pakistan. She said that dialogue is the only way to find out a lasting solution.

“Before infrastructural developments, people of Kashmir need peace,” Mufti told the news channel.

She further praised late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s efforts in addressing the Kashmir problem during his tenure. She said that Vajpayee’s promises were followed by action, adding that he visited Pakistan, “agreed with them on ceasefire and we had ceasefire for about eight years”.

“Militancy increased after the surgical strike. We must follow Vajpayee’s legacy at any cost,” she said.

“Musharraf was an army man and Kargil War occurred under him. But still, Vajpayee was able to go there and persuade him to do certain things. We can try it again,” the former CM added.

On newly elected Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s remark that Islamabad is committed to peace, she said that “we must welcome his statement and India must respond and initiate a dialogue.”

“Dialogue is the only option. War is not an option, jingoism is not an option,” she said.

Khan after taking over as the Prime Minister of Pakistan last week, had emphasized on promoting trade, cricket and bilateral talks between Islamabad and New Delhi. In a statement, he had stated that Kashmir is the core issue between the two nations and that the dispute should be resolved through dialogue.

On BJP-PDP split in Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti said that she will not only blame the saffron party, instead both the parties were responsible for differences and subsequent split.

“I don’t blame them for withdrawing support, but as a Kashmiri, I had made several promises to the people. I don’t want them to have a sense of disbelief. I want them to live with honour and dignity,” she said.

The BJP had in June pulled out of the Mehbooba Mufti government in Jammu and Kashmir citing rising in militancy and radicalisation of youths in the Valley.

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