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Begin talks with all stakeholders on Kashmir: Mehbooba Mufti


New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today sought the creation of an institutional mechanism of interlocutors to talk to all stakeholders in Kashmir to carry forward former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s policy of a dialogue internally as well as with Pakistan.

Mufti, who called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi here and discussed the situation in the Kashmir Valley, told reporters that he was very concerned about the situation and has asked for steps to end this “bloodshed” so that the state comes out of the present turmoil.

“The Prime Minister is very concerned about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir like we all are. It is a matter of concern for everyone. The Prime Minister wants this bloodshed to end so that the state comes out of the present turmoil,” she told reporters after an hour-long meeting with Modi.

This was the first meeting the Chief Minister had with the Prime minister after the violence broke out in the valley on July 8. Taking Pakistan head on, Mufti said “our Prime Minister took bold initiatives of inviting Nawaz Sharif for oath-taking ceremony and later flew to Lahore. This was unfortunately followed by the Pathankot terror attack.

“Lately, when the situation was bad and Pakistan was fuelling the ongoing crisis in Kashmir, our Home Minister Rajnath Singhji went to Lahore, but again, unfortunately, Pakistan let go this golden opportunity and did not extend the courtesy that needs to be given to a guest,” she said.

Observing that the basis of the PDP-BJP alliance was on the foundations of Vajpayee’s Kashmir policy and to carry forward from where it had stopped, she recalled the words of her father and former Chief Minster Mufti Mohammed Sayeed who had said that if Kashmir can be resolved, it can only be by the Prime Minister who enjoys two-thirds majority.

“If things don’t happen during his tenure, it won’t happen ever. I believe that Modiji, who took a bold step of going there, today again says we need to talk to our own people, because people are dying,” she said.

“I am sure that the Prime Minister will not forget to find a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue like the UPA did,” she said.

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