Mehbooba bats for ‘restarting Kashmir talks’

Kashmir Times. Dated: 12/18/2018 12:16:27 PM

NEW DELHI, Dec 17 (Agencies): Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Monday made a strong pitch for restarting talks to resolve Kashmir issue.
She expressed her opinion during Agenda Aaj Tak.
Hailing former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a “man who understood Kashmir” Mehbooba said that he gave positive momentum to the peace process. But subsequent governments did not take the process forward as effectively.
“We are pained every time a jawan or a civilian is killed in Kashmir,” she said.
Jammu and Kashmir has been reeling under cross-border terrorism for many decades now. However, recent trends increasingly suggest that local youths are being drawn towards terrorism.
When asked about this, Mehbooba stressed on the need of addressing the idea of militancy to tackle terrorism.
“Do you think people who throng the funeral of a slain terrorism know him? Or even support him?” she said, “It's just an idea the common man identifies with.”
She cited several reasons for such a dilemma among common Kashmiris.
“Kashmir, in spite of being a Muslim majority state, rejected Mohammed Ali Jinnah's two-nation-theory. We chose to stay with India but wanted a status,” she said.
Referring to Section 370 which gives a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba said, “When a common Kashmiri hears about opposition to and court cases against the special provision, he feels alienated.”
She also drew attention to what she hinted was a sustained rhetoric against minorities through the media. She stressed the negative impact it has on social morale.
Mehbooba had a unique take on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The project sponsored by China has ruffled feathers in India as it passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. She said that Kashmir region must be made a part of CPEC as it was the need of the hour to open routes which would connect Kashmir to Central Asia.
She stressed that separatists must be part of solving the Kashmir issue as they are "part of the problem." She said the same about Pakistan to stress that dialogue must be held with everyone in order to find a sustainable solution to Kashmir issue.



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