Shutting down doors for dialogue not in JK’s interest: Mehbooba

Maintaining that shutting the doors for emissaries of dialogue is not going to help anyway, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today said by spurning the parleys, the separatist leadership is not facilitating the solution of the problem but only holding up the resolution process.
“We have lost several opportunities in the past to resolve the issue through engagement and dialogue and today again if we miss the chance, the coming generations are never going to forgive us for our intransigence,” the Chief Minister said while addressing a function organised here in connection with the formal launch of UJALA scheme in Kashmir.
Maintaining that her party has been consistently advocating dialogue both with Pakistan and all sections of the society within J&K, including the separatists, for the permanent resolution of the Kashmir issue, Mehbooba said whether it was the party’s Common Minimum Programme with Congress in 2002, its Election Manifestos or its ‘Agenda of Alliance’ with BJP, PDP has repeatedly reiterated its agenda of peaceful resolution of the issue through engagement and reconciliation. “And to a large extent we had succeeded in facilitating setting off a productive reconciliation and resolution process in and around J&K between 2002 and 2005,” she said and added that today again the party’s position is same and it was in this spirit that she recently wrote to the separatist leaders requesting them to engage in talks for the resolution of the issue.
Mehbooba said, however, if anything was achieved in Jammu and Kashmir since the partition of the subcontinent, it was between 2002 and 2005 when cross-LoC roads were opened for movement of people and goods and there was peace along the borders.
“On the internal front also various confidence building measures were taken for the rehabilitation of the victims of violence and after a long era of political uncertainty, Kashmir had started radiating peace in the subcontinent instead of becoming a bone of contention between India and Pakistan,” she said and added unfortunately, after Vajpayee demitted office in 2004, there was no substantive movement forward on the peace and reconciliation initiatives taken by India and Pakistan vis-à-vis Kashmir leading, once again, to an era of cynicism and alienation in the Valley.
Mehbooba said with a robust mandate on his back and the country’s political leadership, cutting across the divide, fully supportive of reviving the peace and reconciliation process in and around Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has the opportunity to resolve the Kashmir issue in the interest of the peace and stability of the State and the region.
Mehbooba said the people of the State, irrespective of their age, gender, status or the political affiliation, have been suffering the disastrous consequences of the turmoil and they have to be retrieved from this quagmire, sooner the better and “the onus lies not only on us but the separatist leadership as well to give the peace and resolution process a chance.”

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