Mehbooba invokes Vajpayee for restoring peace in valley

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New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday invoked former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to restore order in troubled state and said that talks are the only way to “move forward” but before that a “conducive atmosphere” needs to be created.

Mehbooba, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, also said that amid the atmosphere of stone pelting and firing, no talks are possible.

“We had talks during Vajpayee regime. We need to move forward from where Atalji had left. Till then there is no chance of improvement in the situation,” Mufti said while responding to reporters over possibility of talks with Hurriyat leaders.

“We need a dialogue. We can’t be confronting our own people for too long. We cannot hold talks when from one side stones are being thrown and bullets are fired from the other,” she added.

Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks came after she met the Prime Minister over the worsening security situation in the state.

“We held discussions on various issues…the agenda of alliance between the PDP-BJP,” Mehbooba told reporters after the meeting at the Prime Minister’s 7, Lok Kalyan Marg residence.

The Peoples Democratic Party Chief said that after Vajpayee’s initiatives Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road was reopened, talks with Hurriyat began and ceasefire was restored at border.

“Something happened while Atalji was there. That is the reason, the people of Kashmir still remember Atalji. Due to this policy, there is an alliance between BJP and PDP,” Mufti said.

The Chief Minister added that Prime Minister Modi has vowed to work on the lines of Atalji and his policy was of reconciliation and not of confrontation.

“Modiji favours talks but before that a conducive atmosphere needs to be created,” she said.

“Everything is possible if atmosphere is conducive and there is no way forward without talks,” Mehbooba said.

The Chief Minister dubbed the recent rift in alliance as “bad” and said that this should not have happened.

“The PDP stood by its ‘dharma’ but it’s an internal matter and we will resolve it through talks,” Mufti said.

She said her father, late Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed “had given a road map” for lasting peace in the state.

Mehbooba said she also stressed on the Prime Minister to compensate people of the state for the losses they have suffered due to the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan.

She said she was confident of finding a solution to the festering trouble in the Kashmir Valley.

“We have a Unified Command meeting tomorrow (Tuesday). There are two-three kinds of people who are involved in stone pelting. Some are disillusioned and some are incited,” she responded when asked about how she would control the use of the social media that are uniting youths for stone pelting.

“We will find a line of action,” she said.

Mehbooba, later, met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and discussed the security situation in the state.

–IANS

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